Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is investing in Pilot Travel Centers LLC, and by 2023 will own the majority of shares of the company that operates 750 locations in the U.S. and Canada.
Pilot Travel Centers, dba Pilot Flying J, is owned by the Haslam family, and the family says it will keep majority control of the business until 2023, and that Jimmy Haslam will continue as CEO. Under the terms of the agreement, Berkshire will acquire a 38.6% equity stake in Pilot Flying J. The Haslam family will continue to hold a majority interest with 50.1% ownership in the company and FJ Management Inc., owned by the Maggelet family, will retain 11.3% ownership until 2023.
In 2023, Berkshire will become the majority shareholder and will acquire an additional 41.4% — for a total 80% equity stake — and the Haslam family will retain 20% ownership in the company and "remain involved with Pilot Flying J."
As part of the transaction, BDT Capital Partners LLC exited its minority equity investment in the company.
“Pilot Flying J is built on a longstanding tradition of excellence and an unrivaled commitment to serving North America’s drivers,” says Warren Buffett, chairman, CEO and president of Berkshire Hathaway. “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.”
The company is the largest operator of travel centers in North America, with more than 27,000 team members and more than $20 billion in revenues.
“Given the impeccable reputation of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and our shared vision and values, we decided this was an ideal opportunity,” said Haslam. “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.”
James Haslam II, founder and chairman of the business, said, “Berkshire Hathaway’s investment in Pilot Flying J is a testament to our exceptional team members and their dedication that has made Pilot Flying J the great company it is today. Berkshire Hathaway’s commitment to keep Pilot Flying J in Knoxville was most important to us. The Knoxville community is an integral part of our company and our family. We are committed to continuing to make a difference in Tennessee, supporting and giving back to our communities here at home.”
For more information, visit www.pilotflyingj.com.