Press Releases

KENT, Conn. – September 27, 2022 – Cetane Associates LLC (“Cetane”) is pleased to announce that Colby & Gale, Inc. (“Colby & Gale”), a Maine corporation based in Damariscotta, Maine, has acquired the propane, distillates, and HVAC service business of M.W. Sewall Inc. (“M.W. Sewall”), headquartered in Bath, Maine. The transaction closed on September 20, 2022.

Founded in 1887 by Mark W. Sewall, M.W. Sewall had its origins in shipbuilding along the Kennebec River. Today, their square masted schooner, the Edward Sewall (which delivered kerosene in the Caribbean through the early 1900s), remains the historic symbol on their company logo. Three generations of Edward Sewalls led the growth of the business and transitions to distillates, coal, ice, HVAC service, and eventually propane. In 1992, Edward “Ned” Sewall III became President and led an accelerated growth period including the installation of propane bulk storage. Today M.W. Sewall emphasizes service to its residential and light commercial customers as its number one priority. The company consistently delivers on its promise to its long-standing Mid-Coastal customers.

Colby & Gale was established by Charlie Gale and Ken Colby, two employees of Etheridge Oil, which they purchased in 1946 and then changed the business name. From its humble beginnings, Colby & Gale has attained a proud reputation as a full-service, community-based company that maintains great relationships with its customers and meets the heating needs of the Mid-Coastal community it serves. Colby & Gale will carry on the M.W. Sewall legacy, maintaining its brand, its employees, and its business operation locations.

Cetane served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to M.W. Sewall. 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. Team members Jeff Brunner, Fred Lord, and Barrett Conway managed the transaction.


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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
Press Releases

Pam Giordano

NEFI Legends Award 2021

 A valuations analyst for Cetane Associates, Pam has deep operations leadership experience in the heating fuels industry and for nearly two decades has been a leader with the Energy Marketers Association of New Hampshire, the New England Fuel Institute, and the Women in Energy.

In the fall of 2021, Pam was honored in receiving the NEFI Legends of Oilheat award, presented to those who have made an indelible difference in the heating industry—those whose dedication and leadership is unparalleled and deserving to be recognized.

 

Nancy Coop

LP Gas Hall of Fame 2022

 As founding chair of the National Propane Gas Association business council Women in Propane, Nancy works to help create a collaborative professional development environment for men and women. Her career includes owning a nationwide bobtail fabrication business, serving as a business development executive for a major marketer, and now enjoys her role as marketing director at Cetane Associates.

In 2022, Nancy was inducted into the LP Gas Hall of Fame, an annual peer-recognized achievement celebrating leaders who have helped establish, advance, and grow the century-old propane industry.


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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
Presentation Highlights

Update August 2022 | Cetane Associates’ Steve Abbate and Tamera Kovacs recently spoke at the Northeast Propane Show in Worcester, Mass.

This presentation explored the effects of inflation on propane and heating oil businesses.

Types of Inflation:

Headline Inflation – The raw inflation figure reported through the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Up 9.1% through June 2022. Largest increase since November 1981.

  • The CPI determines inflation by calculating the prices on a fixed basket of goods.
  • Core inflation removes the CPI components that can exhibit large amounts of volatility from month to month.

Core inflation – The change in prices of goods and services, except for those from the food and energy sectors. Up 5.9% through June 2022.

Annual Inflation Rates:

Effects of Inflation on the Economy:

  • Inflation, the sustained and broad rise in the prices of goods and services over time, erodes purchasing power.
  • A small but positive inflation rate is economically useful, while high inflation tends to feed on itself and to impair the economy’s longterm performance.
  • Real estate, energy commodities and value stocks have historically outperformed during periods of high or rising inflation.
  • Conversely, bonds and expensive growth stocks tend to lag as inflation lowers the present value of their future cash flows to investors.

Methods to Offset Inflation:

  • Margin Increases

Other Methods:

  • Invest in technology
    • Tank Monitors
    • Delivery Routing Software
  • Lower fuel costs
    • Terminal Exchanges
  • Shop Operating Expenses
  • Diversify Revenue Streams
  • Consider Delivery and Other Fees:
    • Fuel Surcharge
    • Statement Fee
    • Delivery Charge
    • HAZMAT Fee
    • Tank Rental/Monitor Ree

These are brief highlights from a 21-slide Powerpoint presentation. We invite you to attend future seminars at regional conferences around the country.  Please contact us for a confidential consultation at https://www.cetane.net/contact-us/

Next up: We’ll see you at the HEAT Show in Providence, R.I.


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Completed Transactions

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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
Press Releases

KENT, Conn. – August 18, 2022 – Cetane Associates LLC (“Cetane”) is pleased to announce that Dead River Company, LLC, northern New England’s largest, full-service home heating provider with a corporate office based in South Portland, Maine has acquired the distillates and HVAC service business of Bay State Fuel Oil, of West Springfield, Mass. The transaction closed on August 10, 2022.

Founded in 1962 by Leonard Bruso Jr. and Janet Bruso, Bay State operated for its first 20 years from their home. In 1983, the owners made an acquisition that doubled the size of their business and soon after bought and developed nearby property for their expanding operations. Through the years several other acquisitions were made inspiring more growth. By 2000, the founders retired and sold their shares to their children Laura J. Bruso Benoit and Leonard “Len” Bruso III who both had extensive experience working at Bay State. The second-generation owners continued stimulating growth via acquisition for the next 20+ years. Today Bay State enjoys a strong reputation in western Massachusetts as a leader in home heating oil delivery and home comfort services. Len stated, “We take great pride in the Bay State business known for its outstanding service and employees. Our customers have been loyal for decades and we know they’ll be in good hands with Dead River Company.” Laura added, “Dead River Company is a great fit for our team and the community. We are grateful to the professionals at Cetane Associates for their expertise in making our transaction a terrific success. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

 

Dead River GM Dennis Edson & Bay State co-owner Laura Benoit during transaction closing on 8/10/22.

 

Dead River Company, founded in 1909 by Charles Hutchins, had its roots in the forest products industry. In 1936, Dead River Company 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 Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and western Massachusetts, it maintains deep roots in the communities that it serves. Casey Cramton, Dead River Company President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “The Bruso family built a successful business, and we are honored that they chose Dead River Company to continue to care for their long-standing customers. We are excited to welcome the Bay State Fuel Oil employees joining our team and look forward to helping them feel right at home with the Dead River Company. We plan to carry on the legacy established by Bay State Fuel Oil in the local community.”

Jeff Brunner, Director at Cetane, commented, “I am happy for Laura and Len to have completed this successful transaction. They built and grew a great company. I appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with them in this significant transition in their lives. It was a pleasure to work with them.”

Cetane served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to Bay State Fuel 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 Jeff Brunner, Fred Lord, and Barrett Conway.


Current Business Listings

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Completed Transactions

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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
Press Releases

KENT, Conn. – August 11, 2022 – Cetane Associates LLC (“Cetane”) is pleased to announce that Blossman Gas, Inc. (“Blossman Gas”) of Ocean Springs, Miss. has acquired the full-service propane delivery business of Wigley Propane, LLC (“Wigley Propane”) of Jasper, Ga. The transaction closed on August 5, 2022.

Founded in 2011 by Jeff Wigley and Renay Wigley, Wigley Propane sells and delivers propane to residential and light commercial customers in and around Pickens County from its Jasper, Ga. facility, which includes a 60,000-gallon propane bulk plant. Co-founders Jeff and Renay began their business with Jeff behind the wheel of a bobtail and Renay taking customer calls from their house. Their business experience, entrepreneurial attitude, and local relationships helped them to build a thriving propane company with a well-recognized brand and strong demand. Jeff Wigley stated, “We’re excited to complete this transaction and continue to bring our customers outstanding service under the Blossman umbrella. We are proud of the Wigley brand and our dedicated employees.” Renay Wigley added, “We’re especially thankful to the team at Cetane Associates for being with us every step of the way and ensuring the process was thorough and professional. Their expertise made this a winning experience.”

Blossman Gas is the largest privately held propane marketer in the U.S., providing propane services to 19 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Established in 1951 by Woodrow “Woody” Blossman, the third generation of family ownership now has thousands of customers and 84 stores. For more than 70 years, Blossman Gas has invested heavily in the service side of its business and strives to “maintain service and family values of a small company.” Blossman Gas Chief Operating Officer David Reynolds remarked, “It’s an honor to have the Wigley Propane group join the Blossman Gas team. We welcome them and look forward to delivering superior service to their customers. This transaction is an excellent addition to our growing organization.”

Joe Rosengrant, Director of Business Development for Cetane, commented, “I am happy for Jeff and Renay to have completed this successful transaction. I appreciated the opportunity to work with them in this significant transition in their careers. Their business instincts and dedication served them well in creating a valuable company at Wigley Propane. It was a pleasure to work with them throughout the transaction.”

Cetane served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to Wigley Propane. 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, Tamera Kovacs, Fred Lord and Barrett Conway.


Current Business Listings

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Completed Transactions

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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