Carrefour SA, Europe's biggest retailer, yesterday (23 April) agreed to buy Brazil's Atacadao for BRL2.2bn (US$1.08bn) in a move that will give it 34 discount hypermarkets in the country.

Atacadao has 34 stores across Brazil, 17 of which are located in Sao Paulo state, and reported net sales in BRL4bn in 2006.

Carrefour said in a statement that the acquisition forms part of its "strategy to reinforce its presence in key growth markets through a locally adapted multi format approach."

Atacadao's discount hypermarkets complement Carrefour's existing operations in Brazil, which include 109 hypermarkets, 34 Carrefour Bairro and 258 Dia hard discount stores giving total net sales of EUR3.8bn in 2006.