OMAHA, Nebr. — Warren Buffett has purchased a stake in Pilot Flying J through his multinational conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway.
According to several news outlets, Berkshire bought a 38.6% stake in Pilot Flying J, and in six years, it will boost ownership to 80%.
Pilot Flying J is a Knoxville, Tennessee-based company is led by billionaire Jimmy Haslam, who also owns the Cleveland Browns football team.
To date, the family-run company employs more than 27,000 people at its 650 travel centers across the U.S. and Canada. It expanded in 2010, when Pilot Travel Centers merged with Flying J to form a new company.
Though more details were not disclosed, the Haslams retained a 50.1% stake, and will own the remaining 20% once Buffett takes over.
Jim Haslam, Jimmy’s father, founded the company 1958, with a single gas station.
“Jimmy Haslam and his team have created an industry leader and a key enabler of the nation’s economy,” Buffett said in a statement. “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,” Jimmy Haslem, CEO of Pilot Flying J, said in a statement announcing the deal. “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.
“He truly wants us to run the company, wants us to maintain the culture,” Haslam said about Buffett. “It’s just a marriage that we thought made a lot of sense.”