Pilot Flying J Gets Down To Business

Just two days after Pilot won Federal Trade Commission approval to acquire rival Flying Jay on Wednesday, the company, now called Pilot Flying J, isn’t wasting anytime getting busy with acquisitions, divestments and restaurant plans.

As of today, Pilot Flying J-an entity of more than 550 interstate travel centers and travel plazas in 43 states and six Canadian provinces-gained ConocoPhillips’ 50% stake in the CFJ Properties-Flying J truckstops for $626 million, Truckinginfo.com reported. The deal also includes long-term product supply agreements.

ConocoPhillips said the divestment is part of the company’s “U.S. marketing strategy, which is to minimize company ownership of motor fuel stations while securing long-term markets for refined products from ConocoPhillips refineries.”

“We’re pleased to conclude this transaction and to have a long-term fuel supply relationship with Pilot, which affords ConocoPhillips the ability to provide an outlet for ConocoPhillips’ gasoline and diesel production,” said Willie Chiang, senior vice president, refining, marketing and transportation.

The sale is part of ConocoPhillips $10 billion asset divestiture program, Truckinginfo.com reported.

Pilot Travel Centers also sold Flying J’s Scan & Go assets to Pegasus TransTech. As of July 1, Pegasus TransTech’s TransFlo Express truckstop scanning were deployed at 180 Scan & Go Express locations in the U.S. and Canada. TransFlo Express also is set to be installed at the remaining Flying J sites, except those in Quebec, within the next 60 days, Truckinginfo.com reported.

TransFlo Express scanning will now be available at 775 locations. Using the system, documents are sent electronically to the fleet for immediate billing and payroll processing.

“Pilot has signed an agreement with Pegasus TransTech to be a provider of scanning solutions at all Pilot Flying J locations,” said Scott Wombold, Pilot’s vice president of national accounts and wholesale fuel. “Since July 2002 when Pegasus TransTech first launched truckstop scanning at Pilot Travel Centers, our customers have been able to receive same-day access to their delivery documents.”

Meanwhile, restaurant chain Denny’s Corp. is set to begin converting the restaurant portions of 140 Flying J Travel Centers to the Denny’s brand beginning in July, BusinessWeek reported.

Denny’s was selected in March by Pilot Travel Centers LLC to provide the restaurant sections of its travel centers.  Denny’s expects to have 80 sites converted by the end of 2010 and the balance in 2011. The new restaurants are expected to provide an annual sales lift of 7- 8%. Franchisees will convert most of the new locations, and about 15 will be converted and operated by Denny’s itself.

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