Crystal Flash logo

Growing Again: Crystal Flash Acquires C. Barron & Sons

In its largest acquisition to date, Crystal Flash™ announced that it has acquired C. Barron & Sons, Inc. in Monroe, Mich.

The deal will bring more than 2,000 new customers, 28 new employees and four new locations to the Grand Rapids-based energy distribution company. The transaction, which closed last week, is the sixth acquisition for Crystal Flash in the past 18 months and will allow the company to expand its product lines, customer base and geographic reach.

The acquisition is a direct result of a targeted growth strategy supported by The Charter Group, merger and acquisition advisor to Crystal Flash.

Family owned and operated for more than 60 years, Barron provides fuel transportation services to retail and commercial customers throughout Michigan and into Northern Ohio. Barron carries a full line of fuel products, lubricants and diesel exhaust fluids, or DEFs.

The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to welcome C. Barron & Sons to the Crystal Flash family,” said Crystal Flash President Tom Fehsenfeld. “Tom, Paul and Patty have done an exceptional job of growing the business that their family started in 1949. Their commitment to customers and strong focus on providing excellent service dovetails extremely well with our business philosophy.

“The addition of Barron not only strengthens our footprint in Michigan, it gives us an entrée into Northern Ohio and allows us to better serve several new areas in the Great Lakes states. We continue to look for opportunities to add new companies and to grow Crystal Flash.”

Headquartered at 87 Jerome St. in Monroe, Barron also has facilities in Ypsilanti and Toledo. A significant player in the Michigan/Ohio fuel market, Barron annually distributes 6 million gallons from its transports, 5 million gallons via its tanker fleet and 1.5 million gallons through seven Pacific Pride fuel locations. Additionally, the company hauls 40 million gallons for freight each year.

Barron distributes a wide variety of products, including:

  • Engine and hydraulic oils
  • Transmission fluids
  • Grease and gear lubricants
  • Anti-freeze
  • Industrial oils

Brothers Tom and Paul Barron, who have led the company, will move into senior consulting roles with Crystal Flash to ensure a smooth transition. Their sister, Patty Arnold, will retire from her role in human resources when the transition takes place.

“Barron is extremely pleased to join Crystal Flash,” said Paul Barron, president of Barron. “Over the past three generations, our family has worked to build a strong company committed to providing the best products and services to our customers. We are convinced that this tradition will continue under our new ownership, which was critical to me and my family.”

Since January of 2012, with the support of The Charter Group M&A advisors, Crystal Flash has also acquired the following Michigan companies:

  • Drakes Fuel Service in Schoolcraft
  • Elliott Gas & Oil in Gladwin
  • Leelanau Propane in Northport
  • Heartland Propane in Hart
  • CA Murphy in Sturgis

About Crystal Flash™

Crystal Flash™ is a third-generation family-owned energy distribution company focused on commercial and residential customers throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Established in 1932, Crystal Flash has grown as the demand for energy has evolved, and today concentrates on the sale and distribution of propane, diesel and other fuels. Today, the company is one of the largest independently owned energy suppliers in the state with more than 250 employees in 14 locations. For more information, visit us online