Dead River Co. acquires Bay State Fuel Oil

Written on: August 24, 2022 by ICM

South Portland, ME-based home heating provider Dead River Co., LLC, has acquired the distillates and HVAC service business of Bay State Fuel Oil, West Springfield, MA. The transaction closed on Aug. 10.

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.

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

“We take great pride in the Bay State business known for its outstanding service and employees,” said Len Bruso III. “Our customers have been loyal for decades and we know they’ll be in good hands with Dead River Co.”

“Dead River Co. 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,” added Laura Bruso Benoit. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Dead River Co., founded in 1909 by Charles Hutchins, had its roots in the forest products industry. In 1936, Dead River Co. 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.

“The Bruso family built a successful business, and we are honored that they chose Dead River Co. to continue to care for their long-standing customers,” said Casey Cramton, Dead River Company President & CEO. “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 Co. We plan to carry on the legacy established by Bay State Fuel Oil in the local community.”

Cetane Associates served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to Bay State Fuel Oil.