Japan c-store chain Lawson Inc. is in talks with several Chinese retailers, which could lead to a possible acquisition.

“China is positioned extremely highly in Lawson’s global strategy and chief executive officer Takeshi Niinami wants to expand there,” a spokesperson told just-food.

Lawson is aiming to open 10,000 outlets in China by 2020. It had 363 outlets in the country at the end of March.

The spokesperson would not name the current Chinese takeover targets or the number of potential new Lawson outlets that could be acquired through a deal but he said: “We are in talks with several parties.” Chinese news reports have suggested more than four companies are being approached.

The company also maintains a full-time executive in Shanghai and 318 of its current outlets are in the city. The company also has stores in central China’s Chongqing, the northern port city Dalian, while it has announced plans to open a shop in Beijing.

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