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Lawson Inc., the nation’s second-biggest convenience store operator, is looking to buy chains in the U.S. as it speeds up overseas expansion with the aim of boosting its number of overseas outlets by about a quarter within a year.

“In the U.S., where the market is mature, mergers and acquisitions are a simple and straightforward way for us to expand, which would also allow us to buy time to boost the number of shops,” Sadanobu Takemasu, who became Lawson president and chief operating officer Wednesday, said in an interview.

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