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Patagonia's valuation likely more than $4.5B

The Patagonia brand appears on a clothes hanger made out of wood.

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Outdoor apparel brand Patagonia would have been worth between 15x and 20x its EBITDA of roughly $300 million, or north of $4.5 billion, if owner Yvon Chouinard had opted to sell it, an industry banker tells Axios.

What they're saying: "I can confirm to you that a third-party valuation put the business at $3 billion, and had we gone public or sold the company, we were likely looking at $6 billion if not more," a Patagonia spokesperson tells Axios.

Catch up fast: The Ventura, Calif-based company's founder and his family instead opted to transfer 100% of the company's equity to a specially designed trust and a nonprofit organization, with its valuation, pegged at $3 billion.

Between the lines: Creating a trust to support environmental causes is something Chouinard has always considered and is paramount to his identity, the source said, even though he could have sold Patagonia for billions.

Details: As for the specifics of the trust, he structured it as a 501(c)(4), which under the tax code is a trust that allows for political donations and political advocacy.

Yes, and: Chouinard wanted the ability to give to political causes without limitations on how the trust spent its money going forward, the source said.

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