Brazil’s No.2 fuel distributor Ipiranga buys smaller rival Ale

Brazil’s second-biggest fuel distributor, the Ipiranga unit of Ultrapar Participações SA , agreed to acquire a smaller peer for 2.17 billion reais ($635 million), rivaling the reach of state oil company Petrobras’ distribution unit.

Ipiranga, which has a network of 7,241 service stations, said in a securities filing on Sunday that the acquisition of Alesat Combustíveis SA, or ALE, the country’s fourth-biggest distributor with about 2,000 gas stations, would help it expand in northeast Brazil.

Petrobras Distribuidora, the distribution and sales arm of state oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, has about 7,500 service stations, according to its website.

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