Trading company Marubeni has announced that its subsidiary Marubeni Foods Investment is to become the largest shareholder in supermarket chain Tobu Store, according to the Kyodo news agency.

Marubeni Foods Investment will raise its stake in Tobu Store to 25% from 12.5% by purchasing 11.2m shares to be issued by Tobu Store on June 29 for 2.2bn yen (US$20m).

The Marubeni group has been given credit for turning around Tobu Store through a business alliance. After seeing a recovery in Tobu Store's earnings, Marubeni has decided to further strengthen the company's business by raising the equity stake, Marubeni officials said.

Maruetsu Inc., another supermarket chain operator in which Marubeni is a major shareholder, is also scheduled to raise its stake in Tobu Store to 15% by purchasing new shares.