Berkshire Hathaway Acquires Remaining Stake in Pilot Travel Centers

The holding company previously held an 80% majority stake.
Angela Hanson
Exterior of Pilot Travel Center in Rialto, California

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is officially the sole owner of Pilot Travel Centers LLC.

The family of Pilot founder Jim Haslam II announced that Pilot Corp. closed the sale of its 20% interest in Pilot to the holding company on Jan. 16, adding to Berkshire's existing 80% ownership stake.

The sale follows the settlement of allegations of improper accounting methods that came just ahead of a planned Jan. 8 trial date, as Convenience Store News previously reported. 

The Haslam family sued Berkshire in October 2023 for allegedly employing pushdown accounting rules that artificially depreciated the value of relevant assets and unfairly cut the value of both the Haslam shares and Pilot itself. Berkshire countersued the following month, accusing Jimmy Haslam of attempting to bribe Pilot executives to inflate 2023 earnings.

Berkshire's acquisition of Pilot Corp.'s remaining interest in the company is pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, according to a statement from the holding company. It now owns 100% of Pilot Travel Centers.

Jim Haslam II founded Pilot in 1958 in Gate City, Va. Over the next six decades, its network expanded rapidly through both organic growth and a series of strategic transactions, including those made with Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Williams, Speedway, Mr. Fuel, Speedway-Wilco, and the 2010 merger of Pilot Travel Centers with Flying J.

"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," Haslam said. "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."

Pilot is currently the largest travel center operator in North America and sells approximately 14 billion gallons of fuel a year and $3 billion in food and merchandise. Prior to the sale it was the fifth largest private company in the United States.

[Read more: Pilot Co. Opens First EV Charging Stations Under National Network Pact]

"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, chairman and CEO of Pilot Corp. "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."

The Pilot and Flying J travel center network includes more than 750 locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces.

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