Jimmy Haslam, Pilot Flying J CEO
With concerns about the future of Pilot Flying J amid a federal fraud investigation and a slew of lawsuits, the company's finances are now under the microscope.
Our sister station WKYC in Cleveland got some analysis on a recent report in the Wall Street Journal.
That report says Pilot's debt has nearly doubled to $4 billion dollars since 2010, and its credit rating has been downgraded by the S&P.
Forbes says the company brings in nearly $29 billion in revenue, and while the company has only gotten riskier since the rebate fraud investigation began, Jimmy Haslam told the Wall Street Journal Pilot could pay its debt down quickly.
WKYC spoke to a financial planner about what the debt may mean for the company and Haslam's ownership of the Cleveland Browns.
"They may be sitting on $6 billion in cash, and $4 billion of debt which isn't a big deal. There's a slew of reasons why companies would take on debt in these historically low interest rates. That's the positive scenario," explained Kevin Myeroff, NCA financial planner. "The negative scenario is maybe they are in debt, and if they are, could the Browns be collateral for some of that debt, nobody knows, and nobody will know until it comes out in court, if it even goes that far."
It's also unclear how much debt the company has added since the investigation began, but a Pilot spokesperson tells WKYC that its financial position is "very strong." It also says there are inaccuracies in the ratings numbers.