Fehsenfeld family relinquishes control of Crystal Flash

May 13, 2016 - Grand Rapids Business Journal

For three generations, Crystal Flash has been controlled by the Fehsenfeld family. Now, however, one of the largest fuel distribution companies in the state has new owners — lots of them. Crystal Flash on April 28 established an employee stock ownership plan, commonly known as an ESOP, to ensure the company’s long-term future.

The propane retailer services approximately 24,000 Lower Peninsula customers through 14 locations in the state. The company is now 100 percent employee-owned, said Tom Olive, president. “Our 250 team members are very excited by this opportunity. They’re very grateful for the gift of the family, and the trust they’ve placed in us. They’re excited to continue growing the business,” he said. “As always, our goal is to provide customers with reliable and high-quality service. We believe an ESOP puts us in the best position to continue that commitment to our valued customers.”

Warner Norcross and Judd LLP provided Crystal Flash with legal counsel for establishing the ESOP, Olive said, adding Charter Capital Partners served as financial advisors and Mercantile Bank of Michigan provided the financing. All of them served as “exceptional partners” during the transaction, he said. more

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