TOKYO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Japanese trading firm Mitsui & Co Ltd said on Friday it will buy a 23.4 percent stake in the world's 9th-biggest salmon farming company from Chile's Multiexport Foods SA for $101 million amid growing demand worldwide for fishery products.
The move is part of Mitsui's drive to expand its portfolio of assets beyond natural resources, and follows the $1.4 billion acquisition of Norwegian fish farmer Cermaq by Japanese rival Mitsubishi Corp last year.
Japanese trading houses, which trade everything from oil to corn, have been stepping up their efforts to broaden their assets into businesses like and medical services while reducing spending on energy and minerals projects in the wake of a global commodities slump.
Mitsui's latest deal gives it a stake in a Multiexport Foods unit called Salmones Multiexport SA. The trading firm expects fish demand to grow steadily in North America, China and Brazil, a spokesman said. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)