OMAHA, NE – Famed investor Warren Buffett is taking a minority stake in Pilot Flying J truck stops through Berkshire Hathaway, although the Haslam family will still hold a majority stake in the chain until 2023.
Jimmy Haslam will remain in his role as Chief Executive Officer, while president Ken Parent and the rest of the management team also remains in place.
Pilot Flying J is North America’s largest operator of travel centers, with more than 27,000 employees and 750 locations across the U.S. and Canada, and reports more than US $20 billion in revenue.
Berkshire Hathaway will initially acquire a 38.6% equity stake in Pilot Flying J, while the Haslam family will hold 50.1%. FJ Management, owned by the Maggelet family, will hold 11.3% until 2023. That’s when Berkshire will become the majority shareholder – acquiring an additional 41.4% equity stake — and the Haslam family’s stake will drop to 20%.
“Pilot Flying J is built on a longstanding tradition of excellence and an unrivaled commitment to serving North America’s drivers,” Warren Buffett, chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire Hathaway, said in a statement. “Jimmy Haslam and his team have created an industry leader and a key enabler of the nation’s economy. The Company has a smart growth strategy in place and we look forward to a partnership that supports the trucking industry for years to come.”
“Given the impeccable reputation of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and our shared vision and values, we decided this was an ideal opportunity,” said Jimmy Haslam, Chief Executive Officer of Pilot Flying J. “As a family business that has evolved and prospered over the last six decades, we knew that any potential partner would need to share our commitment and have a proven track record as a long-term investor. We have that in Berkshire Hathaway – they believe in our strategy, support our team and are excited to see Pilot Flying J grow. We are honored and humbled to partner with them.”
Pilot merged with Flying J to form today’s company, which has since added Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Williams, Speedway, Mr. Fuel, and Speedway-Wilco locations to the network. The company also has more than 100 roadside assistance trucks under its Truck Care Program, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers, and 35 Boss Shops.
The locations represent more than 70,000 parking spaces, 4,900 showers, and 5,000 diesel lanes.
Berkshire’s other transportation-related holdings include BNSF railroad, Geico Insurance, and Marmon Holdings.
Pilot Flying J made headlines in 2014 when it paid a US $92 million fine, following a criminal probe based on withholding diesel fuel rebates. Several executives were also charged in that case.
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