Press Releases

Acquisition Announcement: Fortier & Son, Inc.

KENT, Conn. – November 5, 2020 – Cetane Associates LLC (“Cetane”) is pleased to announce that Dead River Company (“Dead River”) of South Portland, Maine has acquired the heating oil, propane, and service business of Fortier & Son, Inc. (“Fortier & Son” or the “Company”) of Somersworth, N.H. The transaction closed on October 27, 2020.

Established in 1950, Fortier & Son sells and delivers propane and heating oil to residential customers from its New Hampshire facility, which includes a 78,000-gallon propane bulk plant. Their service department performs heating and cooling equipment installation and repair services.  Robert “Bob” Fortier, the son of the founder Robert W. Fortier, joined the business in 1976, and became the owner in 2004, upon Robert’s retirement.  Bob viewed propane as the next step in the Company’s expansion, and today the Company continues as a full-service heating fuel dealer in a highly focused delivery area.

Dead River Company, founded in 1909 by Charles Hutchins, had its roots in the forest products industry.  In 1936, Dead River entered into the petroleum business and has since grown to be the largest, full-service home heating provider in northern New England. Dead River is a family-owned company, with deep roots in the communities that it serves. By operating locally managed offices throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts, it maintains the values of a family-owned business.

Bob Fortier, owner and President of Fortier & Son, commented, “We are very pleased that our organization will become a part of Dead River Company. Their local presence is a positive for our customers and a great fit for our employees. I appreciate their family-owned culture.” He also stated, “I can’t thank Cetane enough for all they’ve done for me throughout the transaction. I really couldn’t have done this without the help of the expert and thoughtful team at Cetane.”

Deanna Sherman, Dead River Company President and Chief Executive Officer, stated that “Bob Fortier built a successful business, and we are honored that he chose Dead River Company to continue to care for his customers. We appreciate that the Fortier & Son employees will be joining our team and look forward to helping them feel right at home at Dead River Company.  We plan to carry on the legacy established by Fortier & Son in the local community.”

Jeff Brunner, Director of Cetane and transaction leader, commented, “I am happy for Bob Fortier and his family to have completed this successful transaction. Bob’s seventy-year-old family company has been managed with a keen focus on their employees, their customers, and their community. Working with Bob was a pleasure from the start to a great completion.”

Cetane served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to Fortier & Son.  Cetane advised on the sale, including an initial valuation opinion, marketing the business through a confidential process, assisting in negotiation of the final deal terms, and coordinating the due diligence process. The transaction was managed by team members Jeff Brunner, Joshua Wolf, Fred Lord, and Barrett Conway.

About Cetane Associates LLC

Cetane is a leading provider of financial advisory services to business owners in the retail energy distribution industry. Clients engage Cetane to advise on sales, spin-offs, and acquisitions, as well as perform valuation and ad hoc corporate finance assignments. For more information, please visit

Current Business Listings

View All

Completed Transactions

View All

We were very pleased to have such a knowledgeable and experienced company in our corner with the team at Cetane. It was obvious that they knew the best process and how to get the ball over the goal line. Their advice throughout the process was greatly appreciated and we thoroughly enjoyed working with them.

— Steve Lombardi, Brodeur’s Oil, Moosup, CT