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No. 3 overall | No. 1 services company

Global Partners fuels New England economy

Eric Slifka, chief executive of Global Partners.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/File

Eric Slifka, chief executive of Global Partners.

Global Partners LP is an 80-year-old, multibillion-dollar Waltham energy company that most New Englanders don’t know about, though it probably helps power their lives.

In fact, Global Partners enjoyed its best year to date in 2012. Profit more than doubled to $46.7 million, and the company earned the number three spot on this year’s Globe 100.

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Abraham Slifka founded the firm as a one-truck retail heating oil business in the 1930s; his wife managed the books. Today the company — which the Slifka family took public in 2005 — employs 1,650 people to run a transnational network that moves petroleum products and other fuel supplies into and across the United States via pipelines, as well as trains, barges, and trucks.

In 2012, Global sold roughly $17.5 billion in fuel products, counted Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway as customers, and owned, leased, or supplied about 1,000 gas stations in the Northeast. Think Mobil, Citgo, Sunoco, Shell.

“It’s likely that you are probably doing business with us somewhere,” said Eric Slifka, the founder’s grandson and the company’s current chief executive.

Erin Ailworth can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ailworth.
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