Haslam Family Buys Back More Stake in Pilot Flying J

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Haslam Family Buys Back More Stake in Pilot Flying J


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Haslam family has increased its holding in Pilot Flying J.

According to the Wall Street Journal, CEO Jimmy Haslam and his family have acquired all of CVC Capital Partners Ltd.'s shares in the Knoxville-based company. Financial terms of the transaction weren't disclosed.

Pilot Flying J is one of the largest private companies in the United Sates. The family-owned business operates more than 650 retail locations and is the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America.

James Haslam, the son of the founder, also owns the National Football League's Cleveland Browns. His brother Bill Haslam is governor of Tennessee.

CVC is one of Europe's biggest private-equity firms. In 2008, it bought a 47.5-percent stake in Pilot Travel Centers after Marathon Oil Corp. sold its stake in the company. The deal was one of the first U.S. investments by London-based CVC, which opened an office in New York in 2007, according to the news report.

In 2010, Pilot Travel Centers bought rival Flying J Inc.

CVC previously sold part of its stake back to the family. This latest deal was for its remaining 9-percent holding in Pilot Flying J, a person familiar with the transaction told the news outlet, adding that the private-equity firm made more than four times the money it invested in the truck-stop operator.

"Over the years, Pilot, now Pilot Flying J, has had multiple partnerships, which began with the expectation of the partner exiting at some point," Pilot Flying J spokeswoman Anne LeZotte told the WSJ in an emailed statement. "That time has come in Pilot Flying J's partnership with CVC, which has been a very satisfying relationship since 2008."