Jan 8, 2024 - Business

Warren Buffett and Haslam family settle truck stop deal dispute

Illustration of an 18-wheeler's mudflap with a shrug emoji on it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Berkshire Hathaway and the Haslam family have settled their dispute over a 20% stake in truck stop chain Pilot Travel Centers, on the eve of trial.

Why it matters: We won't get verdicts on lawsuits that pitted the Oracle of Omaha against the owner of the Cleveland Browns, but this does likely mean that Berkshire will end up with all of PTC, one of America's largest private companies with around 30,000 employees.

  • Jimmy Haslam had been expected to testify at the trial, which had been set to begin this month, but Berkshire's star witness was to be vice chairman Greg Able, not Warren Buffett.

Backstory: The Haslams accused Berkshire of changing accounting terms that would set the price of a put option on the 20% stake of PTC that Berkshire didn't already own, thus reducing it by around $1.28 billion.

  • Berkshire countersued, accusing the Haslams of trying to bribe PTC executives to artificially inflate earnings.

The bottom line: Bloomberg suggests that the Haslams may get the full amount they wanted out of Berkshire for PTC, but that would be cold comfort if it's followed by a federal prosecution for bribery.

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