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Fuel distributor enters Indiana via acquisition

February 17, 2014
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Fuel distributor enters Indiana via acquisition
Grand Rapids-based Crystal Flash, founded in 1932, distributes propane, diesel and other fuels. Photo via fb.com

A fuel distributor is expanding into the Indiana market by acquiring two Michigan companies.

Grand Rapids-based Crystal Flash, a distributor of propane, diesel and other fuels, said today that it has acquired Owens Petroleum and Owens Propane Services of Albion.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The transaction — Crystal Flash’s seventh acquisition in two years — is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings.

1,200 customers

The acquisition brings approximately 400 commercial fuel customers and 800 residential home-heating customers in Michigan and Northern Indiana to Crystal Flash.

The Owens companies have served Michigan counties stretching from Lansing to the Indiana border, as well as the cities of Fowlerville and Angola, Ind.

The deal also adds two locations, including two Pacific Pride fuel stations, to Crystal Flash’s footprint.

Crystal Flash now has more than 230 employees at 16 locations across Michigan.

"We are very pleased to once again expand our Michigan footprint," said Crystal Flash President Tom Fehsenfeld.

With the acquisition, Crystal Flash moves into Indiana for the first time, and it expects more Midwest expansion to follow.

“We continue to evaluate opportunities for growth throughout the Midwest and look forward to additional acquisition announcements in the months ahead,” Fehsenfeld said.

Owens

The Owens companies provide petroleum, tank-wagon deliveries and bulk oils to commercial customers, as well as propane and home-fuel oil for residential customers. Owens also offers a full line of lubricants.

Joe Owens launched the business as a Standard Oil agent in 1968, incorporating seven years later to become Owens-Raymond Oil Co. He changed the name to Owens Petroleum in the 1980s, running the company until he sold it to his daughter, Shelley Purucker, and her husband, Randy, in 1994.

Its 50-year history as a family owned business makes it a good fit for Crystal Flash, which is also family owned, Fehsenfeld said.

Acquisitions

Since January 2012, Crystal Flash has also acquired Drakes Fuel Service in Schoolcraft, Elliott Gas & Oil in Gladwin, Leelanau Propane in Northport, Heartland Propane in Hart, CA Murphy in Sturgis and C. Barron & Sons in Monroe. 

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