warm thoughts


Written on: October 14, 2023

NEW MILFORD, Conn. – Cetane Associates (“Cetane”) is pleased to announce that Dead River Company has acquired Rockingham Oil, a full-service heating provider based in New Hampshire. The transaction was completed on September 28, 2023.

Family-owned and -operated Rockingham Oil was founded by Robert Knapp in 2004. Robert’s experience in the heating oil industry began as a child, working with his father. Soon after the business was established William West joined the company and contributed his technology skills to its operations. As co-owners Robert and William have managed Rockingham Oil, which today is known as a dependable provider to homes and businesses throughout Southern New Hampshire and Northeastern Massachusetts. Robert Knapp states, “We’re very pleased for our employees and customers that Dead River Company will be taking our business to the next level. We know our focus on customer satisfaction matches well with their values and makes this a great fit.” William West adds, “We’re grateful to the professional experts at Cetane for guiding us through this successful deal.”

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 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, states, “We are honored that Robert Knapp and William West selected Dead River Company to continue caring for Rockingham Oil’s customers, employees and communities served. Our aligned values will help ensure that their employees and customers feel right at home.” Cramton continued, “We wish Robert and William a fulfilling retirement.”

Tamera Kovacs, Director at Cetane Associates, says, “Working with Robert and William was a pleasure. We appreciate that they entrusted Cetane with this significant transaction. I wish them each all the best in their next life chapters.”

Cetane served as the sole arranger to Rockingham. 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 Tamera Kovacs, Ford DuBose, Fred Lord, and Dalton Brooks managed the transaction.

About Cetane Associates

Cetane is a leading provider of financial advisory services to business owners in home services industries. 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.com.