(Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Pilot on Sunday said they had reached an agreement to settle a Delaware lawsuit and resolve a dispute over the valuation of billionaire Jimmy Haslam’s truck stop chain.
Berkshire and Pilot have agreed to settle the Delaware litigation, including all claims and counterclaims, between Pilot and Berkshire Hathaway, Pilot Travel Centers and National Indemnity Company, the companies said in separate statements.
Pilot declined to disclose further detail on the settlement. Berkshire Hathaway did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The agreement averts a billion-dollar trial between Berkshire Hathaway and the Haslam family, which had been set to begin on Monday.
The two-day, non-jury trial in Delaware’s Court of Chancery, which was cancelled by the court on Saturday, was meant to determine the value of the Haslam family’s remaining 20% stake in Pilot Travel Centers, the largest U.S. truck stop chain.
The Haslams, including Cleveland Browns football team owner Jimmy Haslam, sold 80% of Pilot to Berkshire for $11 billion in two separate deals in 2017 and January 2023.
Each side had accused the other of accounting tricks to manipulate Pilot’s earnings before interest and tax, or EBIT, key to determining the value of the Haslams’ remaining 20% stake.
The Haslams sued Berkshire in October last year, alleging it had changed its accounting to reduce how much the company would owe if the family exercised an option to sell the 20% stake to Berkshire in 2024.
Berkshire countersued on Nov. 28, saying Jimmy Haslam tried to bribe Pilot executives with millions of dollars to inflate earnings in 2023 at the expense of Pilot’s long-term value.
According to court papers, the Haslams believe the 20% stake in Knoxville-based Pilot was worth $3.2 billion before Berkshire’s accounting change, an amount Berkshire disputed.
(Reporting by Jyoti Narayan in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue, Sonali Paul and David Goodman)