Why is Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, selling his company? – Companies

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 hailed the gesture of the American Yvon Chouinard, who half a century ago founded the Patagonia group, which specializes in the production and sale of climbing and camping equipment. A company that, year after year, generates a profit of one hundred billion dollars …

“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 half a century ago founded the Patagonia group, which specializes in the production and sale of climbing and camping equipment. A company that, year after year, generates one hundred billion dollars in profits per year and that is worth about 3 billion dollars. Yvon Chouinard has always fought for the preservation of the planet. Since 1986, Patagonia has donated 1% of its profits to environmental organizations. But Yvon Chouinard just struck a blow by announcing that he, his wife and two children had sold their business to a fund that in turn oversees a new non-profit organization, Holdfast Collective, whose purpose is to “fight change. climate and protect the world’s unused land. ”The trust will own all the voting shares of the family (this represents 2% of the capital) and the association will benefit from the remaining 98% of the shares. It will then receive 98% of the shares. But is it philanthropy or a tax regime? Bloomberg points out that this donation allows the Chouinard family to evade $ 700 million of capital gains tax they would have had to pay if they sold the group. This provision also allows the Chouinards to continue to effectively control Patagonia and to maintain its seats on the board. Bloomberg recalls that the Chouinards are not the only ones i to have recently built such a legal construction both to maintain the management of the company, maximize its tax structure, but also to campaign for his ideas. On the other side of the American political spectrum, the conservative Barre Seid, who made his fortune with electronic devices, took the same deal to support a “pro life” association. So philanthropy or tax deal? Both, general.

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