Japanese conglomerate Kirin Holdings has indicated that it is eyeing further acquisitions overseas following a series of international buyouts, including that of Dairy Farmers, Australia's second-largest dairy.

Kirin president Kazuyasu Kato told The Nikkei Marketing Journal that Dairy Farmers was "a good example of the kind of company we want to target with our additional JPY300bn (US$3.11bn) in M&A funds". 

Kato said he is hoping to find more synergies through M&As, adding that the company is looking to expand overseas in light of the shrinking Japanese consumer base.

Armed with vast M&A war chests in the form of cash reserves, Japanese companies are showing an appetite for acquisitions and other strategic investments abroad. This has been fuelled by the appreciation of the yen, which is up by about 20-30% against some currencies, including sterling.

A Tokyo-based M&A advisory firm, Recof, said that the value of Japanese acquisitions and investments in foreign firms exceeded US$66bn in the first ten months of 2008.

This figure is 3.6 times the value of such deals in the same period last year and the highest since record keeping began in 1985.

Officials at Kirin could not be reached for further comment.