warm thoughts


Written on: November 1, 2022

KENT, Conn. – Cetane Associates LLC (“Cetane”) is pleased to announce that Dead River Company, of South Portland, Maine, has acquired the full service propane and heating oil delivery business and HVAC business of Charlie Burnham Energy & Heating Service, based in Freeport, Maine. The transaction closed on October 12, 2022.

HVAC industry experts Charlie Burnham and George Gyorgy founded Charlie Burnham Heating Service in 1991. During the early years, customer referrals led to a strong base of business. In 2009, Jim Enrico joined the company and the implementation of software and technological innovations helped them to signficantly scale their business. The three partners established the delivered fuels side of the business in 2013. The premier home comfort provider continues its exceptional service to the southern Maine market through growth driven by the reliable expertise of its long-term, experienced employees and its stellar reputation.

Co-founder Charlie Burnham stated, “For more than 31 years, our company’s team has been serving our Southern Maine neighbors. Our factory-trained and manufacturer-certified technicians are experienced veterans. We believe our Charlie Burnham brand has strong synergies with Dead River Company’s values. And, we’re proud to see our dedicated work carry forward in the great hands of Dead River.” He also expressed, “Our transaction went smoothly thanks to working with the professional team at Cetane Associates. The Cetane team ensured all aspects of the deal were accurately and thoroughly accomplished. We appreciated their knowledgeable and friendly ways throughout the transaction.”

Dead River Company, founded in 1909 by Charles Hutchins, had its roots in the forest products industry. In 1936, Dead River 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 Massachusetts, it maintains deep roots in the communities that it serves. Casey Cramton, Dead River Company President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are honored that Charlie, George and Jim chose Dead River Company to care for its customers, employees and the communities they serve. We appreciate the expert reputation for excellence and great service that Charlie Burnham Energy & Heating Service has built and will work steadily to preserve their legacy. We are excited to have their employees join our team and look forward to ensuring everyone feels right at home at Dead River Company.”

Jeff Brunner, Director of Cetane Associates, commented, “I’m happy for the owners of Charlie Burnham Energy & Heating to have achieved this milestone event. They built a great company, and I am excited for them to have made this successful transition. Congratulations to Charlie, George, and Jim.”

Cetane Associates LLC served as the sole arranger and financial advisor to Charlie Burnham, Inc. 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. Team members Jeff Brunner, Steve Abbate, and Barrett Conway managed the transaction.

About Cetane Associates

Cetane Associates LLC is a leading provider of financial advisory services to business owners in the retail energy distribution industry. Clients engage Cetane to advise on sales, spin-offs, and acquisitions, as well as perform valuation and ad hoc corporate finance assignments. For more information, please visit www.cetane.net.