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Haslam family exits truck stop business, sells last 20% stake in Pilot

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On Tuesday, the Haslam family announced that the Pilot Company has sold its remaining stake in the Pilot truck stop chain to Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Berkshire Hathaway Completes Full Acquisition Of Pilot Travel Centers

The companies announced on January 16 that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has has acquired Pilot Corporation’s remaining 20% interest in Pilot Travel Centers LLC, effective today.

Berkshire Hathaway now owns 100% of Pilot Travel Centers.

Berkshire Hathaway spent nearly $11 billion when it took over majority ownership of the Pilot Company as of January 31, 2023, as part of a plan announced in 2017 to reduce the Haslam family’s stake in Pilot to 20% by 2023. The 2017 announcement stated that Berkshire Hathaway would acquire an additional 41.4% stake in 2023 to add to the 38.6% stake acquired in 2017 in order to obtain a majority stake in the Pilot company at that time. The agreement allowed the Haslam family to sell the remaining 20% stake in the company to Berkshire Hathaway in January 2024 if they chose.

The Haslams filed suit against Berkshire Hathaway on October 23, 2023, accusing the company of using deceptive accounting practices to artificially drive down the value of the Haslam stake in Pilot Travel Centers.

In late November, Berkshire Hathaway countersued, accusing Jimmy Haslam and the Haslam family of offering millions of dollars worth of payments to at least fifteen executives at Pilot to encourage them to temporarily inflate the company’s profits in order to increase the value of the Haslam family’s remaining 20% stake.

The companies settled these lawsuits earlier this month, just before a trial was set to begin.

Haslam Family Reflects On Pilot History

Pilot was founded in Gate City, Virginia, in 1958 by Jim Haslam II.

“Pilot started with one gas station 65 years ago, and because of the dedicated and exceptional team members we have had throughout our history, it is now an industry leader,” said Jim Haslam II, founder of Pilot Travel Centers. “While this has certainly been an emotional decision for us, it is one we felt was right for our family at this time. We look forward to continuing to support our life-long home of Knoxville, Tennessee, and to furthering our deep commitment and philanthropy throughout the region that we all love.”

“As a family business, it is humbling to think of all of the team members who have been a part of Pilot Flying J and we are beyond grateful for their commitment and contributions over the years,” added Jimmy Haslam, CEO and Chairman of Pilot Corporation. “We also have profound appreciation for all of the guests, professional drivers, and trucking companies who have supported Pilot Flying J as they have been a key part of the evolution and growth of this dynamic industry over the last six decades. We will always consider the Pilot Flying J team as family, and we wish them success as they continue to develop the best travel center network in North America and keep America moving.”

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