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Buffett's firm to buy majority of Pilot Flying J truck stops

Inside the town for driverless cars

Warren Buffett's company is making a big bet on truck stops.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) said Tuesday that it will buy 38.6 percent of Pilot Flying J truck stops, which operates 750 truck stops in 44 states and Canada. The company will become a majority owner in 2023, when its stake will rise to 80 percent. The company employs more than 27,000 people and is ranked 15th on Forbes' list of America's biggest private companies.

Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Buffett told Bloomberg News in a phone interview that he's not worried about autonomous vehicles displacing truck drivers. 

"Trucks are going to be around for a very long time. Who knows when driverless trucks are going to come along and what level of penetration they have," Buffett told the publication. "There is nothing that we own that doesn't have something in the future that might affect it."

In a statement, Buffett praised the company's "smart growth strategy."

Pilot Flying J, which is run by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, has been under scrutiny in recent years because of a diesel fuel rebate scam that led to criminal charges against several executives.

The Knoxville, Tennessee, company paid an $85 million settlement with some of the defrauded customers as well as a $92 million penalty to the government.