On July 6, Cheshire Oil, of Keene, NH, transferred ownership of its heating business to Dead River Company, of South Portland, ME. The acquisition brings together two mainstays of the New England fuel delivery business. Cheshire Oil had been serving customers in New Hampshire’s Monadock Region for 97 years at the time of the sale. Dead River Company has been in business for 109 years (in the petroleum industry for 82 of them) and first expanded its service area into Keene in 2012.
The heating business acquisition brings all of Cheshire Oil’s fuel delivery and heating equipment maintenance customers under the Dead River Company umbrella. Not included in the sale were other Cheshire Oil assets, such as the company’s storage units. Readers may also recall Cheshire Oil sold its 10 gas station and convenience store locations to Global Partners LP in May of this year (see story from last issue).
On the day the heating business sale was finalized, a letter was sent to all Cheshire Oil customers notifying them that former company owners James E. Robertson and JoJi Robertson had decided to retire from the petroleum business.
“After careful consideration, we have chosen to transfer ownership of Cheshire Oil to a company that shares the same values and commitment to responsive, personalized customer service. We are pleased to inform you that as of July 6, Dead River Company will now be providing your heating services, to include timely deliveries and heating equipment maintenance,” reads the letter signed by the Robertsons as well as Dead River Company President & CEO Deanna S. Sherman.
Visitors to cheshireoil.com are now automatically redirected to the Dead River Company website, where the letter is posted in full.
According to supplementary materials attached to the letter, Cheshire Oil’s delivery drivers and service technicians are now part of the Dead River Company team. The company also informed Cheshire Oil customers that it would honor the terms of their existing service plans through their expiration dates.
Additionally, Cheshire Oil customers have been invited to utilize any of Dead River Company’s other programs, including EasyCAP, Equal Payment Plan or Prepaid Fixed pricing. Customers enrolled in Cheshire Oil’s MyAccount service were informed that by July 13 they would receive an email containing a new account number, which could be used to enroll in Dead River Company’s MyAccount service.
Dead River Company maintains an office in Keene from which the consolidated services will now be based. According to a map on the company website, Dead River Company has eight other locations in New Hampshire, one in Massachusetts, two in Vermont, and dozens more in Maine. The company was founded in 1909 as a forestry products business and entered the petroleum industry in 1936 with the purchase of a small bulk plant, four gasoline stations and an Esso franchise.