Shipping company Nippon Yusen K.K. said Thursday the Nippon Yusen group will purchase two overseas container-handling firms by the end of October in an effort to bolster its international port terminal business.

The two overseas companies are Ceres Terminals Inc., based in New Jersey; and Container Terminal of Europe B.V., based in Amsterdam.

Nippon Yusen declined to disclose the size of the deals.

The firm currently handles containers at ports in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia and the U.S. West Coast.

The acquisitions will allow Nippon Yusen to launch container operations in Europe, on the East Coast of North America and in the Gulf of Mexico, the firm said.

Ceres Terminals and Container Terminal of Europe handle a combined 2.5 million containers a year, it said.

The two firms chalked up a combined revenues of $150 million in 2001.

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