Warren Buffett Says the Republican Tax Plan Contains a 'Terrible Mistake'

Warren Buffett Says the Republican Tax Plan Contains a 'Terrible Mistake'”

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc bought a major stake in Pilot Flying J, the largest USA truck stop operator, and said it will become the majority owner in six years, deepening its commitment to the American economy.

Pilot Flying J, whose formal name is Pilot Travel Centers LLC, has more than 750 locations in 44 U.S. states and Canada, selling gas, diesel fuel, and convenience goods, and offering trucks over 70,000 parking spaces and 5,000 diesel lanes.

Haslam will remain CEO of the company, which has more than 750 locations in 44 states and generated more than $20 billion in sales previous year.

It's not Buffett's first deal in Tennessee.

Haslam said in an interview he hit it off with Buffett after being introduced earlier this year by Chicago merchant banker Byron Trott, who suggested the Berkshire chairman buy a minority stake in the truck stop operator.

"We have lots of stocks with lots of gains and we have a few stocks with losses", he said.

Warren Buffett's stake in Pilot Flying J won't require much in the way of changes. And Berkshire's utility arm struck a deal in July to buy Texas power-transmission company Oncor, but the deal was terminated in favor of a higher offer from Sempra Energy. He bought Maryville-based Clayton Homes, the country's biggest producer of manufactured housing, for $1.7 billion in 2003.

"Kevin Clayton could not have been more complimentary", Jimmy Haslam said.

The purchase may help Buffett, 87, overcome his recent struggles to deploy Berkshire's US$100-billion cash hoard.

Trott, a former Goldman Sachs banker, runs BDT Capital Partners LLC, which is exiting its investment in Pilot Flying J.

Berkshire also owns railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe, is a big investor in airlines Delta, American, Southwest and United Continental as well as Big 3 auto company GM. "We like the business and we like the people, so it worked". "We have that in Berkshire Hathaway - they believe in our strategy, support our team and are excited to see Pilot Flying J grow".

The company paid a $92 million settlement to trucking customers after a 2013 raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.

"I knew about it, but it will not affect the future of the company", Buffett said.

Matt Lakin and Nate Rau report for the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel; Nathan Bomey reports for USA TODAY.

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