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Patagonia Owner Who Gifted Away The Company To "Fight Climate Change" Is Reportedly Saving $700M In Taxes With The Move

Chouinard, 83, transferred 98% of Patagonia shares to Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit that will deploy its roughly $100 million in annual profits “to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature,” according to a statement Wednesday. He moved all of his family’s voting stock, equal to 2% of its total shares, to an entity called the Patagonia Purpose Trust.

Still, the moves mean Chouinard won’t have to pay the federal capital gains taxes he would have owed had he sold the company, an option he said was under consideration. On a $3 billion sale, that bill could be more than $700 million. It also helps Chouinard avoid the US estate and gift tax, which is a 40% levy on large fortunes when they’re transferred to heirs.


Well, well, well. This is kind of a tough look for the noble CEO who just wanted to be a steward of the Earth long after he returned to it. This is what I wrote yesterday about Yvon Chouinard's decision to donate $3B to climate change charities

Now that the real motivations are out there, I love this move by Chouinard. Instead of just posing this altruistic position about the Earth being your only shareholder and patting yourself on the back just say something like "Look, I've paid millions upon millions of taxes in my life to the government. They haven't shown that they know how to spend that money wisely especially when it comes to the issue I care most about...climate change. So fuck them. I am maintaining control and voting rights and giving the company away to non-profits focused on an this issue rather than flushing it down the toilet with the IRS and a new owner of the brand who can change the ethos upon which I built the company".

There's not a single person on the planet who enjoys paying taxes. I think the public would largely support this move if done with authenticity. Just say it was largely financially motivated. If the inheritance tax wasn't a thing (I don't think it should be) then he wouldn't be doing this move because nothing was preventing him from donating the $100M in annual profits to charity. He could've done that and he has done that often. This was a tax shelter move which is cool with me. Just don't sugarcoat it as some noble endeavor when that wasn't the real motivation. Authenticity always wins--Dave Portnoy