Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Pilot Flying J announced today that Berkshire has made a minority investment in Pilot Travel Centers LLC. The Haslam family will continue to own a majority of Pilot Flying J, and Jimmy Haslam will remain as chief executive officer.
Pilot Flying J President Ken Parent and the company’s management team will also remain in place. The company will continue to be headquartered in Knoxville, TN.
Pilot Flying J has more than 27,000 team members, 750 locations across the U.S. and Canada, and more than $20 billion in revenues.
“Pilot Flying J is built on a longstanding tradition of excellence and an unrivaled commitment to serving North America’s drivers,” said Warren Buffett, chairman, president and CEO 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.”
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 Managemen, Inc., owned by the Maggelet family, will retain 11.3% ownership until 2023. In 2023, Berkshire will become the majority shareholder by acquiring an additional 41.4% equity stake and the Haslam family will retain 20% ownership in the company and remain involved with Pilot Flying J.
“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, CEO 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.”
“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,” according to James Haslam II, founder and chairman, Pilot Travel Centers LLC. “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.”
BDT & Company, LLC advised the Company and, as part of the transaction, BDT Capital Partners, LLC exited its minority equity investment in Pilot Flying J.