NEAL P. GOSWAMI
BENNINGTON -- Suburban Propane has acquired Inergy, the parent company of Pyrofax Energy, but local customers should see not major changes in their service, according to the company.
The acquisition was officially closed on Aug. 1, according to Peter Teshima, a managing director with Suburban. The acquisition increases the number of Suburban employees to about 5,000 who serve more than 1.3 million customers across the country.
"The merging of two solid companies like Suburban and Inergy will mean a larger, stronger company," Teshima said.
Former customers of Pyrofax will not see any major prices changes, but the market remains highly competitive, with many suppliers, according to Teshima. The price of propane and other fuels will continue to fluctuate, he said.
"The customers can be assured that Suburban will continue to be focused on providing quality service," he said.
Suburban is now the third-largest propane company in the country. Additional mergers should be expected within the industry, though. "The propane industry is an extremely fragmented industry, so we think consumers should expect to see continued changes," Teshima said.
Suburban Propane President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Dunn said the acquisition will mean better service for customers.
"We are extremely pleased to complete the Inergy Propane Acquisition, which brings together two of the largest and finest retail propane businesses in the propane industry," Dunn said in a statement. "We welcome the employees of Inergy's retail propane business to the Suburban family and look forward to achieving extraordinary things together in our quest to provide unparalleled service to our customers and value for our unitholders. We would also like to thank all of the Suburban and Inergy employees who have worked tirelessly over the last few months to prepare for this day."
Dunn said the acquisition will make Suburban a stronger company.
"We will continue to follow the path that has brought us to this point, by leveraging the investments we have made in people and technology across our newly expanded service territories and customer base, in order to further strengthen our operating platform and achieve our ultimate goal of delivering sustainable, profitable growth for our valued unit-holders," he said.