Japan's Maruha Nichiro, the world's largest seafood company, has acquired a 10 percent stake in surimi producer Kibun Foods for JPY 2.8 billion (€17.2 million/$18.6 million), the company said on Monday.

The alliance between the two Japanese seafood giants will focus on the joint development of new products and will also allow the companies to use each other’s commercial distribution channels to reach new customers in North America and Europe.

"We have decided to enter into this alliance agreement with the aim of expanding both companies' food businesses," Maruha Nichiro in a statement.