Duluth-based Como Oil & Propane has been purchased by ThompsonGas, headquartered in Frederick, Md.

In an announcement issued Wednesday, Como's branch manager, Joel Berg, said: "This acquisition significantly strengthens Como's position as the area's leading fuel provider."

"While Como has always been a strong, reliable fuel provider, ThompsonGas offers us a national footprint, greater buying power and access to cutting-edge technology. Having this kind of competitive advantage, gives our 120 local employees a lot to be excited about," he said.

The deal will expand ThompsonGas' national reach to include markets in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The company now serves more than 87,000 customers in 14 states.

Como's new ownership said it has no plans to make any staff reductions due to economies of scale related to the acquisition.

"We like the business, we like the employees and most importantly, we like the customer base. In fact, we plan to fly the same logo with one slight modification: Como Oil & Propane (and then in smaller print, A Thompson Gas Company)," said George Koloroutis, ThompsonGas' executive vice president and chief operating officer in an email exchange Wednesday.

"ThompsonGas and Como share many important values and approaches to the heating business," said Koloroutis in a written statement. "Most importantly, both companies believe our customers are our most valuable resource."

Como is just shy of 70 years old. The company was formerly owned by Interstate Energy LLC, a division of East Central Energy.

Financial details of the transaction have not been made public.