Dead River Acquires Rockingham Oil

Dead River Co. acquired Rockingham Oil, a full-service heating provider in New Hampshire.

Family-owned and -operated Rockingham Oil was founded by Robert Knapp in 2004. Knapp started in the heating oil industry working with his father. Soon after the business was established William West joined the company and contributed his technology skills. As co-owners, Knapp and West managed Rockingham Oil, which today serves homes and businesses throughout southern New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts. 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.”

Dead River Co., founded in 1909 by Charles Hutchins, had its roots in the forest products industry. In 1936, Dead River entered the petroleum business; it 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’s 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.”

Cetane Associates (, financial advisor to business owners in home services industries, served as the arranger to Rockingham. The transaction was completed on September 28.

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