Haslam family sells remaining interest in Pilot truck stop chain

January 18, 2024

Berkshire Hathaway on Tuesday acquired the remaining 20% of Pilot Corporation it didn’t previously own, giving the multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, 100% ownership of Pilot Travel Centers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Berkshire Hathaway had spent upwards of $11 billion to acquire an 80% stake.

Pilot is the second piece of a major on-highway fuel-stop overhaul that’s taken place in less than a year. BP Products North America Inc., a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of BP p.l.c., completed its $1.3 billion acquisition of TravelCenters of America last May.

Berkshire Hathaway, where billionaire investor Warren Buffett serves as chairman and CEO, purchased a 38.6% stake in Pilot Flying J in 2017. The Maggelet family, owners of FJ Management, Inc., retained 11.3% ownership at the time with Haslam family holding the balance. Berkshire in 2023 became the majority shareholder by acquiring an additional 41.4% stake. The Haslam family retained 20% ownership and remained involved with the truckstop chain until Tuesday.

“While this has certainly been an emotional decision for us, it is one we felt was right for our family at this time,” said Jim Haslam II, founder of Pilot Travel Centers. “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.”

Founded in Gate City, Virginia, in 1958, Pilot is the largest operator of travel centers in North America with more than 750 locations across 44 states and six Canadian provinces, selling roughly 14 billion gallons of fuel a year and approximately $3 billion in food and merchandise. Prior to the sale, Pilot Flying J was the fifth largest private company in the U.S.