Article courtesy: LancasterOnline (PA)
Shipley Energy has acquired the former Worley & Obetz home heating-oil business in this region, it was announced Thursday.
York-based Shipley will offer the service in Lancaster and Chester counties through its Seth Energy division.
Seth Energy is led by General Manager Seth Obetz, former co-owner and vice chairman of now-defunct Worley & Obetz.
Shipley, under its own banner, will serve the former Worley & Obetz home heating-oil customers in York County and northern Maryland.
Shipley acquired the business from Diesel Direct, a Massachusetts-based firm that bought most of Worley & Obetz’s operations in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court auction in September for $10.7 million.
Diesel Direct had been serving 300 former Worley & Obetz home heating-oil customers in this region since then. Those accounts have been transferred to Shipley and Seth Energy, along with the Worley & Obetz customer list.
Steve Downey, a spokesman for Shipley and Seth Energy, said there’s no upfront price for the business. The price will be determined by future sales to the former Worley & Obetz customers.
Diesel Direct will retain the former Worley & Obetz home heating-oil business in northern Pennsylvania and southern New York.
As part of the Shipley/Diesel Direct transaction, Diesel Direct has acquired Shipley’s truck-to-truck fleet-fueling business.
Diesel Direct is the nation’s largest mobile, onsite refueler of commercial fleets, doing business in 46 states, including Pennsylvania.
Diesel Direct was drawn to Worley & Obetz mainly because of its fleet business, prompting Diesel Direct to quickly divest the other parts of Worley & Obetz.
Immediately after winning the September auction, Diesel Direct sold four other Worley & Obetz divisions — its retail propane, wholesale propane, HVAC and natural gas businesses — to Lancaster-based Rhoads Energy.
In November, Shipley and Seth Energy agreed to pay $100,000 to settle allegations that they used idle assets of Worley & Obetz without permission. Shipley and Seth Energy denied the allegations, but said they settled to avoid costly litigation.
Manheim-based Worley & Obetz, with 250 employees, once was among Lancaster County’s largest family owned businesses.
But it announced major layoffs in May, then closed abruptly on June 4, the victim of a fraud that the company, its bankruptcy trustee and its primary lender blame on former CEO Jeff Lyons. The firm filed for bankruptcy liquidation two days later.