Why is the founder of Patagonia selling his company?  - Trends-Trends on PC

Why is the founder of Patagonia selling his company? – Trends-Trends on PC

Billionaire Yvon Chouinard puts his company at the service of the environmental cause. But he keeps control of it and avoids $700 million in taxes.

“He is no longer a billionaire. The founder of Patagonia sold his company to fight for the climate.” The New York Times and many other newspapers last week welcomed the gesture of the American Yvon Chouinard, who founded the Patagonia group half a century ago, specializing in the manufacture and sale of climbing equipment and camping. A company which, year after year, generates around a hundred…

“He is no longer a billionaire. The founder of Patagonia sold his company to fight for the climate.” The New York Times and many other newspapers last week welcomed the gesture of the American Yvon Chouinard, who founded the Patagonia group half a century ago, specializing in the manufacture and sale of climbing equipment and camping. A company which, year after year, generates a hundred billion dollars in profits per year and which is valued at around 3 billion dollars. Yvon Chouinard has always campaigned for the preservation of the planet. Since 1986, Patagonia has donated 1% of its profits to environmental organizations. But Yvon Chouinard has just struck a blow by announcing that he, his wife and his two children had sold their business to a trust that itself oversees a new non-profit organization, Holdfast Collective, whose purpose is to “fight against climate change and protect the world’s unused land”. The trust will own all of the shares with voting rights of the family (this represents 2% of the capital) and the association will benefit from the remaining 98% of the shares. It will therefore receive 98% of the profits. But is it philanthropy or a tax arrangement? The Bloomberg agency points out that this donation allows the Chouinard family to escape $700 million in capital gains tax that it would have had to pay if it had sold the group. This arrangement also allows the Chouinards to continue to effectively control Patagonia and to retain its seats on the board of directors. Bloomberg recalls that the Chouinards are not the only ones to have recently built such a legal construction to both retain the management of the company, maximize its tax structure but also campaign in favor of its ideas. On the other side of the American political spectrum, the very conservative Barre Seid, who made his fortune in electronic devices, made the same arrangement to support a “pro life” association. So philanthropy or fiscal arrangement? Both, general.

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