With an aim to make inroads into Asian market and become a leading international third-party logistics (3PL) business group, SBS Group, one of the leading corporate groups in Japan, has acquired Atlas Logistics.

The acquisition of Atlas Logistics, a leading Bangalore-based provider of integrated and comprehensive global transportation solutions, will give SBS Holdings a significant presence in the rapidly growing domestic logistics market in India and reinforce its position as a full-service international logistics group.

"The acquisition of Atlas Logistics with its strong delivery network and excellent service reputation, will expand our footprint, add depth and efficiency to our network and offer convenience for our customers who are expanding globally," said Akihiko Okamoto, Board Member, Atlas Logistics.

He added that the Indian company, which has 26 domestic offices and 14 overseas offices, would serve as a powerful local partner and that his group would now be in a position to contribute to the competitiveness of his customers in the field of international logistics.

Akihiko Okamoto said his group could leverage on opportunities opening up for increased business between Japan and India following the Japan-India Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and this acquisition would be a perfect addition to the group which has 27 consolidated subsidiaries and one affiliated company.

"In the near future, we hope to develop a strong hold in logistics business in India by providing know-how on land transportation business, warehouse business and third-party logistics services," he said.

H R Venkatesh Rao, Chairman and Managing Director of Atlas Logistics, said that with this acquisition substantial synergy would be created for both the companies at various levels including improved operational efficiency resulting in faster growth of the combined entity.

"We will strengthen our shipping services between Japan and India as well as enhance international logistics services which connect Japan, Asia and locations throughout the world," he said.

Referring to the prospects for Foreign Direct Investment in the retail sector and opening up Indian economy to global supermarket chains, Venkatesh Rao said the development would be a great boost to the logistics industry in the country. He said the immediate goal of the combined entity was to lead it to emerge as a $2-billion group by 2013.

"This is possible given Atlas Logistics' strengths as a customer-focused one-stop resource and SBS Group's strategic expertise in handling a full service logistics business," he said.