I sold my APU when I learned they were on the short list to buy CNO. All the propane lp's have a lot of debt & high distributions. The safest one is probably Heritage, but realize they all carry risk. Their prices are pretty stable because of the high dividend. When CNO cut theirs in half they went from 17 to 7. The gas royalty trusts are more volatile because their payouts are tied to the price of natural gas. I bought WTU in 1998 & got my purchase price back in 3 years in dividends. Gas prices are cyclical. All the elements are still in place for power & gas shortages in Cal to happen again. Wtu will hit 15-20 in the next 3 years.
As I recalled FGP did not do to well with their last two big purchases (NC Propane& Thermogas). If my memory serves me correct all those mediocre employee owners had to get Jimbo out of retirement to clean up their mess. My suggestion is the kettle should not be calling the pot black. In any event you maybe working for one before long. Bow wow.
If you look at FGP's earnings for the last 24 months you'll see they are exceptional. Especially considering this latest record warm winter of 01/02. Bringing Jim Ferrell back was a definite boost and so was getting rid of the two COO's they had on board. Those guys were in way over their heads. One was a decent guy but just couldn't get it done and the other simply lacked integrity. Any way you slice it they were a losing pair.
I didn't mean to offend you when I said that the Amerigas people were mediocre. But let's face it, the people at FGP and Suburban are far superior to the knuckleheads at Amerigas.