According to a recent press release, conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (BRK-A) and Pilot Flying J have joined forces. Berkshire Hathaway, headed up by billionaire CEO Warren Buffett, made a "significant minority investment" in Pilot Travel Centers, LLC (also known as Pilot Flying J). Pilot has long been owned by the Haslam family, and Jimmy Haslam will remain CEO of Pilot Flying J, with the family retaining a majority stake in the company. Other management-level executives, including President Ken Partner, will remain in place as well, and the company will keep its headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee.

750 Locations and 27,000 Employees

Pilot Flying J is currently the largest operator of travel centers across North America, with locations along major highways and smaller transit routes alike. The company has 750 locations across the U.S. and Canada as well and employs 27,000 team members. It earns more than $20 billion in revenues.

In the press release, Pilot Flying J touted the benefits of the investment by Berkshire as assisting with "expand[ing] Pilot Flying J's opportunities for growth, as the Company remains committed to delivering outstanding service." Per the agreement, Berkshire will acquire a 38.6% equity stake in the travel center company. The Haslam family will retain a majority interest with 50.1% ownership. FJ Management, Inc. will retain 11.3% ownership until 2023. At that time, Berkshire will then become the majority shareholder in Pilot Flying J, acquiring an added 41.4% equity stake. The Haslam family will then have a 20% ownership.

Buffett Looks "Forward to a Partnership"

Speaking on the matter, Warren Buffett indicated that "Pilot Flying J is built on a longstanding tradition of excellence and an unrivaled commitment to serving North America's drivers. 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."

Haslam shared in Buffett's enthusiasm, indicating that "given the impeccable reputation of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, and our shared vision and values, we decided this was an ideal opportunity. 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."

As a part of the transaction, BDT Capital Partners, LLC exited its minority equity stake in Pilot Flying J when Berkshire Hathaway entered its position. Pilot Flying J has worked for decades to grow into the national leader it is today, working alongside Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Williams, Speedway, Mr. Fuel, and Speedway-Wilco to advance its aims.

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