Press Releases

Acquisition Announcement: Foss-Johnson Oil

KENT, Conn. – March 10, 2022 – Cetane Associates LLC is pleased to announce that Lakes Gas Co., a Minnesota corporation headquartered in Wyoming, Minn. has acquired the propane and refined fuels delivery business of Foss-Johnson Oil, LLC based in Walcott, N.D. The transaction closed on March 1, 2022.

For nearly 70 years, Foss-Johnson Oil has been delivering home comfort in North Dakota’s Richland County. Founded by Ernie Johnson who initially named the company Johnson Oil, by 1955 the business was acquired by Ray Foss who renamed it to include his name. Ray’s family stepped in after his death and in 1991 his daughter Penny Cirks bought the business from her mother Lillian. The company today sells and delivers propane, heating oil,  and diesel fuel to residential and light commercial customers. In the early 2000s, the company built more storage, and added buildings to its Walcott facility. The company later added a retail refueling station with gasoline and diesel to serve motorists traveling on the interstate. Owner Penny Cirks stated, “We are very happy that our company will become a part of Lakes Gas. We’ve built a great reputation for exceptional service which we know is a high priority for Lakes Gas as well. I truly thank the professional team at Cetane Associates for their expert advice and management throughout this successful transaction.”

Family-owned for over 60 years, Lakes Gas Co. is now one of the largest propane providers in the Midwest. Their 48 locations in the upper Midwest are all staffed by employees who live in the communities they serve. President and CEO Trent Hampton commented, “We’re pleased to be working with the dedicated Foss-Johnson group and are proud to carry on their legacy. We take pride in our customer service professionals—this is a very good match.” Hampton also said, “Thanks to the Cetane professionals for their assistance in making this deal a winner!”

Joe Rosengrant, Director of Business Development at Cetane and transaction leader, commented, “The opportunity to work with Penny through the process of selling her business was appreciated. I congratulate her. Working nearly 100% remotely raises challenges, but we were able to navigate those well and successfully cross the finish line.”

Cetane served as the sole arranger and business advisor to Foss-Johnson Oil.  Cetane advised on the sale, including an initial valuation opinion, marketing the business through a confidential process, assisting in negotiating the final deal terms, and coordinating the due diligence process. The transaction was managed by team members Joe Rosengrant, Fred Lord, and Barrett Conway.

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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