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Local propane company to have new owner in 2011

Mon, Feb 7th, 2011
Posted in Business Announcements

Rushford, Minn.- The new year brings a change in ownership of Country Comfort, a limited liability company, which provides propane service to customers in northwest Wisconsin and under the business name of Selectus Energy in southeast Minnesota.

The new sole owner will be Country Pride Cooperative, of Almena, Wis., an original partner of Country Comfort since it was formed in 2000. Country Pride came to an agreement with its partners, Barron Electric Cooperative, of Barron, Wis., and Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TEC), of Rushford, Minn., to buyout their remaining shares on Jan. 24, 2011.

Country Pride is the new merged entity of Shell Lake Cooperative and Country Pride Cooperative in Almena. Both cooperatives have been in the propane business for a number of years and will continue to provide the top-quality service Country Comfort customers have come to expect.

The timing of the buyout option played a key role in the decision of TEC's Board of Directors, according to the co-op's president/CEO Brian Krambeer.

"The sale of our share in Country Comfort will be used to reduce the continued pressure of rising wholesale electric energy prices for our membership. It also provides the ability to invest in our core business structure," Krambeer said.

When TEC initially invested in the propane business, selling fuel cells looked like a strong possibility, however, they have not materialized.

During the last 10 years, Country Comfort has successfully grown its customer base and assets, delivering over eight million gallons of propane to 12,000 consumers in over 16 counties. In 2009, Country Comfort received the CHS Energy Summit Propane Award for service excellence, use of technology for delivery efficiency, while achieving company profitability.

Tri-County Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving three counties in Minnesota including Winona, Houston and Fillmore and parts of Olmsted and Mower counties in Minnesota and Howard, Winneshiek and Allamakee counties in Iowa. It provides electricity to more than 12,800 services in the area. TEC is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.

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