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Charlottesville-based Tiger Fuel acquires Fredericksburg-based fuel supplier

Charlottesville-based Tiger Fuel announced on Tuesday that its own family is growing with the acquisition of Fredericksburg-based, family-owned and -operated fuel distributor Anderson Oil Company and Anderson Propane Service Inc.

The investment grants Tiger Fuel, also a family-operated energy supplier, access to a previously untapped market in the greater Fredericksburg area, with Anderson’s eight consignment stations, four bulk plants and 12 wholesale locations. Currently, Tiger Fuel offers residential and commercial fueling services in the Charlottesville area, Appomattox, Lovingston and Orange County.

“In our Orange office, we’ve been growing really rapidly, but logistically, it was hard at times to service accounts to the north and to the east, because we didn’t have bulk plant locations to just sort of support that growth,” Tiger Fuel President Gordon Sutton told The Daily Progress. “Fredericksburg is a really dynamic market with a lot of cool stuff going on and a lot of growth, so it just really enables us to grow into the greater Fredericksburg area, into the Northern Neck area and into the southern Richmond area.”

As for Mark Anderson, who has served as president of the company his father founded in 1976 for more than 25 years, Tiger’s investment allows him to transition into retirement with the knowledge his business and employees will fall under an “extremely similar culture,” he said.

“It’s rare that people are able to merge two companies and two cultures together the way we have with Tiger,” Anderson told The Daily Progress. “We were able to offer everybody here a job from Tiger, which was extremely important to me. I didn’t want to walk out the door with anything less than that.”

Anderson’s 38 employees will join ranks with Tiger Fuel’s nearly 400 workers once the acquisition is finalized in the second quarter of this year. Some departments within Tiger had been hunting for additional personnel for more than a year ahead of the transition, but Sutton said he urged his team to hold off to see if the Anderson staff could fill those same vacancies.

“We’re trying really, really hard to keep all the Anderson folks, and we think there are a lot of really capable folks there that we’re really excited to welcome to the team,” said Sutton. “So we’ll be looking internally to fill roles that need to be filled, but don’t think we’ll need to do a bunch of hiring.”

Anderson Propane Service not only installs propane tanks for residential and commercial customers, it also offers a variety of related products, including tankless water heaters, generators, fireplaces and grills. Its coverage area extends from Fredericksburg into the surrounding counties, including Stafford and King George, as well as other localities such as Midlothian, Glen Allen and Caroline County.

Tiger Fuel, which started in Charlottesville in 1982, first expressed an interest in purchasing Anderson’s retail fuel branch more than a decade ago. However, discussions were rekindled in earnest in August 2021 as the Central Virginia company began looking to incorporate both Anderson’s retail and home propane services into the Tiger Fuel brand.

While enveloping Anderson’s Oil Company and Propane Service considerably grows Tiger’s footprint in Virginia, Sutton said its northern expansions will likely end there — mostly because no one in the company wants to deal with Northern Virginia’s notorious traffic.

Tiger’s solar division, the aptly named Tiger Solar, is eager to take advantage of the acquisition and tap into the new Fredericksburg market.

“The solar team is really excited about the acquisition as well, because now we’ve got some real estate to play with up there,” said Sutton.

The Anderson acquisition hasn’t been Tiger’s only recent development. On Wednesday, Tiger Wash unveiled its renovated car wash station on Long Street in Charlottesville, celebrating the event with free washes, prizes, a $1,000 donation to Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and a ribbon-cutting with officials from the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Sutton attributes Tiger Fuel’s continued growth and success to the employees working throughout the company’s various divisions: Tiger Fuel, Tiger Wash, Tiger Solar and The Markets by Tiger.

“We couldn’t do it without the people. There’s nothing special about our propane,” said Sutton. “It doesn’t burn any hotter than AmeriGas’ or Suburban’s. Our Gatorades aren’t any colder than they are at Wawa or Sheetz. We’re having success because of the people on our team that are really the backbone of the company.”

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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