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Old 07-14-2009, 10:56 PM   #1
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Flying J bought out by Pilot

The DW just informed me that Flying J has been bought out by Pilot. I don't know about the rest of you, but I avoid Pilot like the plague. I know that Flying J had went bankrupt a few months ago.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:56 PM   #2
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Flying J website confirms that tentative agreement has been reached to merge the two companies allowing Flying J to emerge from chapter 11. More to come on this activity.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:52 AM   #3
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Here's the press release.

They have entered into a preliminary merger agreement that will provide a framework for Flying J’s core travel plaza business to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:36 AM   #4
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Flying J and Pilot Travel Centers announced July 14 they have reached a preliminary agreement to merge. The agreement will provide a framework for Flying J’s core travel plaza business to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
If the bankruptcy court approves, Pilot has also agreed to provide $100 million in debtor-in-possession financing for Flying J’s operations.
“After a careful and exhaustive review of the alternatives available, we have concluded that a merger with Pilot represents the best possible outcome for Flying J, our creditors, our customers, and our employees,” said Crystal Call Maggelet, chairman of the board of Flying J.
“Over the next few months, we will negotiate definitive agreements to merge our companies. This transaction will allow us to emerge from the bankruptcy process relatively quickly thereafter and to start a new chapter in the Flying J story,” said Maggelet.
Flying J operates 270 travel centers and fuel stops in 41 states and six Canadian provinces. The company employs 14,700 people, including 2,187 in Utah.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:28 AM   #5
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Good for Flying J and their employees. Merging two differing corporate cultures, policies and procedures in such large companies is a challenge and hopefully the end result--a couple years from now--will be a company that is RV friendly as Flying J has been over the years.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:35 AM   #6
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hopefully the end result--a couple years from now--will be a company that is RV friendly as Flying J has been over the years.
I hope that this isn't wishful thinking... Pilot isn't one of my favorite places to buy fuel... Always the most expensives and one of the dirtiest. I guess we can kiss of discounts good bye..
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:45 PM   #7
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The 1 cent discount doesn't make any difference to me but I always seek out a FJ when possible because they're RV friendly and seem to appreciate RVrs' business. They go the extra mile and construct RV islands, dump stations, water filling facilities, propane refill, etc just for us to use. I've not ever seen any of that at any other truck stop and I feel like Pilot would rather we had gone elsewhere the few times I've stopped there.... they seem to just want the commercial truckers and have nothing for us.

With wishful thinking, I'd hope the FJ business model would influence Pilot to improve in the RV end of the business but I really think Pilot will gradually pull out the RV stuff as they upgrade or remodel the existing FJ facilities to mirror their own.
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:48 PM   #8
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Besides all the negatives about Pilot...if you drive a "gasser" their islands are not laid out for us...jut pick-ups and cars...you can hardly get in and out with a toad.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:12 PM   #9
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I agree with Richard, FJ seemed to want the RV business and some of the others seem to just 'put up' with us. I never had to go inside and leave a credit card with FJ, fuel and pay at the pump. The discount was not a big deal, but it did make us feel like they wanted our business and they usually had the best price (or better than Pilot anyway!) of anyone in the area. It will be interesting to see how whomever runs FJ now as to how they treat the RVers.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:38 PM   #10
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They go the extra mile and construct RV islands, dump stations, water filling facilities, propane refill, etc just for us to use.
And, you see where all that got them - broke! In business, you can't give everythigng away and have a profit to survive on.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:08 PM   #11
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And, you see where all that got them - broke! In business, you can't give everythigng away and have a profit to survive on.
I'm not sure that it was trying to cater to the RV business that caused their bankruptcy. All RVers together are small potatoes in a business like Flying J. I suspect that they just got caught not watching their cash flow in that volatile oil market last year. People Express airline was another great example of a fantastic business model that fell victim to overzealous financial miscalculation. They expanded their way right out of business.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:50 PM   #12
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FJ went out of business because they hedged fuel at $3.50/gallon last year. When prices tanked, they were left upside down and were taking a loss on every gallon sold. As a "retailer" they have no (or very limited through their Big West Refining operation) dedicated supply chain for fuel (unlike ExxonMobil, Valero, Marathon, BP, etc, whom all own multiple large refineries) and they were trying to beat the market to enhance down revenues. They bet wrong and it bit them hard.

The moral of the story is don't hedge in a volatile market unless you know what you are doing...
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:59 PM   #13
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I hope that this isn't wishful thinking... Pilot isn't one of my favorite places to buy fuel... Always the most expensive and one of the dirtiest. I guess we can kiss of discounts good bye..
I agree with you Charles.. They use to charge for credit card use and that was a reason for me to avoid them. I can usually find fuel just as cheap at HESS, and no charge for the credit cards.
Tom
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:42 PM   #14
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I seem to remember an article about the FJ bankruptcy which stated that they made a huge mistake buying oil futures at $135 a barrel and then when the bottom fell out they were unable to compete.
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