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January 13, 2012 | last updated January 16, 2012 11:13 am

Dead River buys Webber Energy heating oil division

Bangor and South Portland-based Dead River Co. is buying the home-heating division of Webber Energy Fuels for an undisclosed amount, marking the company's second acquisition in less than two months.

The two companies signed a purchase-and-sale agreement Thursday, with an expected closing by the end of the month or early February, according to a press release. Dead River will take over Bangor-based Webber's retail fuels division, which includes propane and oil delivery. Webber's other divisions, including Webber Wholesale Fuels, Webber Energy Gasoline and Webber Energy Transportation, are not part of the deal. Webber President and CEO Mike Shea said the retail fuels market has been "volatile and unpredictable," leading executives to decide to focus on other parts of the business "to keep the corporation healthy." Webber's 225 employees in the fuels division will become Dead River employees.

In early December, Dead River merged with Vermont-based Fleming Oil, taking over ownership and operations of its heating oil and services division in New Hampshire and Vermont. In October, Dead River sold its 19 convenience stores to Canada-based Circle K to focus on expanding its home-heating fuels and units operations. Dead River employs more than 1,000 in four New England states.

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