Hitachi Ltd. announced Friday it will invest 300 billion yen in the next two years to strengthen its foothold in the fast-growing information systems business.

Specifically, the company will use the money to acquire firms in the sector or seek alliances with them through capital participation.

The measure was unveiled as part of Hitachi group’s business plan for fiscal 2000 through fiscal 2002.

The three-year plan is aimed at transforming Hitachi into a firm with a competitive edge in solution- and Internet-related businesses, rather than the comprehensive consumer-electronics maker it is now.

“We will realign and unify our subsidiaries and (in-house) divisions to raise the efficiency in the field of growing (solution) business such as the environment and finance,” Hitachi President Etsuhiko Shoyama said.

Hitachi will shift its corporate resources to information and solution business and reorganize the existing information systems division into five groups, including those focusing on finance-related business and distribution business.

Apart from the 300 billion yen, Hitachi said it will also invest 50 billion yen by 2003 to grow Internet-related business for companies and individuals and promote the Hitachi brand as the group’s uniform brand in the field.

Under the business plan, Hitachi hopes to increase group sales to 9.4 trillion yen in fiscal 2002, of which sales in information business and Internet-related business is projected to be 2.6 trillion yen. Hitachi’s sales for fiscal 1999, which ends in March, are estimated to be 7.8 trillion yen.

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