Equifax Inc., the Atlanta-based credit information company that this week bought control of Brazil's biggest financial information company, plans to continue its push into international markets.
"We expect international revenues to be an ever-increasing part of our total revenues," said Thomas F. Chapman, Equifax's chief executive officer.
International business accounted for about 25% of total revenues of about $1.5 billion at Equifax over the last 12 months.
Mr. Chapman predicted that revenues from international operations could soon increase. He added that the push into overseas markets represented a "natural extension" of the businesses Equifax has built in the United States.
Equifax supplies credit information to banks, financial institutions, retail stores, and credit card companies, among other clients. It also provides a range of systems for check authorization, credit card processing, electronic banking, and Internet-based commerce.
The company announced this week that it has acquired an 80% stake in Brazil's biggest financial information company for about $200 million.
The majority stake in Sao Paulo-based Seguranca ao Credito e Informacoes is just the latest move overseas by Equifax.
Earlier this year the company supplied software to install an automated clearing house in Panama, entered a strategic alliance with the UK Yellow Pages Group, and acquired majority interests in financial information companies in El Salvador and Argentina.
Including the latest acquisition, Equifax has operations in 18 countries. It made its first move out of the United States, into Canada, in 1944, but did not embark on a significant international expansion until the early 1990s.
Since then Equifax has concentrated much of its international expansion in Europe and Latin America, because their legal and financial infrastructures make it easier to transplant U.S.-style credit rating systems, Mr. Chapman said.
"Most parts of Asia Pacific are not as willing to share information as countries like Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile," he said.
However, Mr. Chapman also said that "Asia is clearly on our radar screen and will be the next frontier."
Equifax said in a release this week that it expects "dramatic growth" in demand for consumer information in Brazil, the fifth-largest country in the world in population and the largest economy in Latin America.
Seguranca ao Credito e Informacoes, or SCI, has more than 1,000 employees and 47 branches. The company provides financial information on more than two million businesses and five million consumers in Brazil to more than 21,000 clients, including financial institutions, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. It had revenues of about $80 million last year.