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Patagonia Founder Ditches Company, Profit Heads to Climate Crisis

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  • Yvon Chouinard announced Wednesday that he is selling his multi-billion dollar company, Patagonia.
  • Chouinard said Patagonia will not be sold or taken public, but will be owned by a trust and a nonprofit.
  • The trust is set up to ensure that Patagonia’s profits are used to tackle climate change.

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard transferred the company to a newly formed trust and nonprofit to ensure its profits were used to fight the climate crisis. increase.

Rock climber turned billionaire Chouinard announced the move in a statement Wednesday.

“Instead of ‘going public,’ we can say ‘make a point.’ ,” he wrote.

Chouinard, 83, said he chose a unique ownership model instead of selling the company to an owner that could erode Patagonia’s value, or going public and leaving the company to shareholders first.

Instead, ownership of the outdoor apparel company, valued at approximately $3 billion, will be transferred to the Patagonia Purpose Trust and Holdfast Collective.

“It’s been nearly 50 years since we started our responsible business experiment, and we’re just getting started. It will take effort and we are doing what we can with the resources that we have.This is another way we have found to do our part.

Going forward, Patagonia said all profits not reinvested in the company will be distributed to the Holdfast Collective to address environmental concerns, according to additional statements provided to insiders. We estimate it to be a billion dollars.

Founded by Chouinard nearly 50 years ago, Patagonia is known for its commitment to sustainability by breaking with conventional business practices.

In an interview with The New York Times about the decision, Chouinard said he hopes the move will “impact a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end with just a few rich and poor.”

“We will donate the maximum amount to those who are actively working to save this planet,” he said.

Dan Mosley of merchant bank BDT & Co., who helped Patagonia with its relocation plan, told The Times:

“It’s an irrevocable responsibility. They can’t and never want to take it back,” Mosley said.

Chouinard and his family donated most of their fortune during his lifetime, making him one of the most charitable families in the United States.

Chouinard also famously said that Patagonia’s decisions were good for the planet and good for business.

“I didn’t want the company and I didn’t know what to do with it,” Chouinard told The Times. will do the right thing for the next 50 years and I don’t need to be there.”