Glencore seeks to grow Brazil fuel distribution unit - Ale CEO

FILE PHOTO: The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Commodities trader Glencore Plc GLEN.L expects its recently acquired Brazilian fuel distribution company Ale Combustíveis SA to pursue growth opportunities without making acquisitions, Ale's chief executive officer said on Wednesday.

Three days after taking the helm as Ale’s CEO, Fulvius Tomelin said in an interview that the company will seek to expand its networks through agreements with unbranded gas stations.

“Ale does not need acquisitions to grow, the company has idle storage capacity,” Tomelin said.

He estimates that there are approximately 18,000 unbranded gas stations in Brazil out of a total of 42,000. Ale’s brand is currently used by 1,500 gas stations.

Glencore Energy in June announced the acquisition of a 78 percent stake in Ale. Founder Marcelo Alecrim kept a stake in the business.

Ale's main competitors include state-controlled BR Distribuidora BRDT3.SA, Raízen Energia SA, a joint venture of Cosan SA CSAN3.SA and Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.AS, and Ipiranga, the fuel distribution unit of Ultrapar Participações SA UGPA3.SA.

Writing by Carolina Mandl, editing by G Crosse