Details Emerge in Flying J-Pilot Merger


New details have surfaced regarding the Flying J merger with Pilot Travel Centers, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Sunday.


The companies announced their intent to merge last week and Flying J filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware seeking a pre-merger agreement between the two privately-owned companies. Flying J filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 22 due to the sharp drop in oil prices and the disruption in the credit markets.


If the merger gains approval, the companies will form a multibillion-dollar company with more than 550 fuel and travel centers in North America. Pilot will gain control of Flying J’s travel centers, and the headquarters of the two companies will be consolidated in Knoxville. Flying J will receive cash and an equity stake in Pilot, allowing it to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company faces an Aug. 4 deadline to guarantee Flying J’s continued operation.


Pilot currently operates 305 of centers in 40 states and one in Canada with 13,000 employees. Ogden, Utah-based Flying J, has 250 travel centers in 41 states and six Canadian provinces and has 15,000 employees. Pilot’s revenue for 2008 totaled $16 billion, while Flying J’s revenue for 2008 was $18.5 billion.


Pilot is set to pay between  $300 million and $500 million plus have exclusive rights for a certain period to purchase some Flying J assets, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported. The assets would include all of the Flying J travel centers and trucking operations, its corporate headquarters, some properties adjacent to the travel centers and other business operations.


In addition, as part of the merger, a lawsuit Flying J filed against Pilot accusing it of boycotting Flying J fuel cards will be resolved.





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