Press Releases

Acquisition Announcement: Lavallee Oil

KENT, Conn. – December 9, 2021 – Cetane Associates LLC is pleased to announce that Dead River Company, LLC, operating in northern New England, has acquired the full-service oil heat delivery business of Lavallee Oil, Inc., a New Hampshire corporation. The transaction closed on December 2, 2021.

Lavallee Oil, Inc., founded in 1945, markets and sells petroleum distillates and burner services to its residential and light commercial customers in Merrimack, Belknap, and Grafton counties in New Hampshire. Its 75-year history began with founder Rene Lavallee who decided to provide home comfort to customers in and around Suncook, N.H. By 1979, his son Ed and daughter-in-law Karen had become partial owners in the business. The company grew through acquisition and diversification and by 2011 Ed and Karen Lavallee bought out the remaining shares of the company. Today Lavallee Oil is recognized as a full-service oil heat marketer and maintains the value of hard work and reliability on which the business was founded. Co-owner Ed Lavallee stated, “We are very pleased to have completed the sale of our business to the Dead River Company. We chose them because of their commitment to our employees, customers, and community, and we know they are all in good hands.” Co-owner Karen Lavallee also commented, “This is an emotional but very happy time for Ed and me and we want to thank the Cetane team for their support and guidance through the entire process. We certainly couldn’t have made this happen without their expertise.”

Dead River Company, founded in 1909 by Charles Hutchins, has its roots in the forest products industry. In 1936, Dead River entered the petroleum business and has since grown to be the largest, full-service home heating provider in northern New England. By operating locally managed offices throughout its Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts footprint, Dead River can maintain a deep connection to its customers and communities, responding promptly whenever called upon by customers. Deanna Sherman, Dead River Company President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Ed and Karen Lavallee built a successful business, and we are honored that they chose Dead River Company to continue to care for their Lavallee Oil customers. We look forward to their employees joining our team and helping them feel right at home at Dead River Company.”

Jeff Brunner, Director of Cetane and transaction leader, commented, “It was an absolute pleasure working with Karen and Ed throughout the sale process. I congratulate them and I know they will enjoy spending more time with their family as they begin this new chapter. We, on the Cetane team, are grateful for the confidence they placed in us.”

Cetane served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to Lavallee Oil, Inc. 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 Jeff Brunner, 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