Press Releases

Acquisition Announcement: Rural Fuels

KENT, Conn. – September 30, 2021 – Cetane Associates LLC is pleased to announce that Gault Family Companies of Westport, Conn., has acquired the business assets of Rural Fuels headquartered in Trumbull, Conn. The transaction closed on September 22, 2021.

Rural Fuels is one of the largest family owned residential propane delivery business in the state of Connecticut. Originally founded in 1947 as The Rural Gas Company by entrepreneur Howard Rowan, the company grew steadily with the addition of his two sons, Howard Jr. and Michael (following their military service) and acquisitions of four local competitors over the next two decades. By the late 1970’s, the next generation of the family was prepared to join the family business. Michael Jr. and the late Howard III were joined in the mid-1980s by brothers Richard (Rick) and Mark. The company expanded its customer base, geographic service area, bulk storage capacity, and HVAC services over the next three decades yet remained guided by its “small town” values of hard work and dependability which makes them proud to have “rural” in their name.

Rural Fuels President Rick Rowan stated, “For more than 70 years our family has been serving our neighbors. Our experienced employees will continue to bring fuel delivery and service to our valued customers. We think that Rural Fuels brand has a strong value to Gault Family Companies, who we know will take it to the next level, especially with our team on board.” He also expressed that “a transaction of this size and scope was complex. We were thrilled to be working with the professional team at Cetane Associates. The Cetane team did all of the heavy lifting! Steve, Jeff and Fred did everything possible to make this transition as seamless as possible. We are very grateful.”

Gault Family Companies has a long and proud history dating back to 1863. With humble beginnings, their mission has remained the same—to bring on the best team members and continually evolve to meet the needs of the communities they serve. Their founder Robert Gault (1833-1921) migrated to America from Northern Ireland at age 13 and today their president, Samuel (Sam) Gault, is the 5th generation to lead the company that bears his name. With a keen focus on having a diversified business strategy, Gault Family Companies currently operates three business divisions; Energy & Homes Solutions, Stone & Landscape Supplies and Properties & Development.

Commenting on the transaction, Gault’s President Sam Gault stated, “Given Rural Fuels’ strong market presence, attractive geographic area, and outstanding workforce, this transaction is a unique opportunity for Gault. We are excited to welcome the Rural Fuels team into our family business.” Sam Gault continued to say, “We appreciate the exceptional nature of the business the Rowan family has built and will work diligently to preserve their legacy. Our thanks also go to Cetane Associates for their extremely capable process guiding the transaction.”

Steve Abbate, Managing Director and Principal of Cetane Associates, commented “I have known and worked with the Rowan family for several years.  They have always focused on hiring great employees and providing the best experience to their employees and customers alike.  They built a great company and I am excited for them to have made this successful transition.”

Cetane Associates LLC served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to Rural Fuels.  Cetane advised on the sale, including an initial valuation opinion, marketing the business through a confidential process, assisting in the negotiation of final deal terms, and coordination of the due diligence process. The transaction was managed by team members Jeff Brunner, Fred Lord and Steve Abbate.

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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