Industry News 5/8/2013

B$Z: Patagonia restructures under new holding company, ‘Patagonia Works’

Patagonia restructures under new holding company, ‘Patagonia Works’
Press Release from Patagonia

Patagonia has announced a reorganization, and is operating under a new holding company called Patagonia Works.

A key goal of the restructuring is to broaden the company’s environmental mission, according to Patagonia Works CEO Rose Marcario, who previously served as COO and CFO at Patagonia, Inc. Patagonia Works is now the holding company for Patagonia Inc. (the apparel company), Patagonia Provisions and the $20 Million and Change fund, designed to support start-up companies with an environmental bent. Casey Sheahan will remain president and CEO of Patagonia, Inc. Birgit Cameron will stay in her role as director of Patagonia Provisions.

“The company has doubled in the last five years, so it’s become a lot more complex,” Marcario said. “We feel we wanted to use some of the cash we’ve generated over the last five years to invest more in companies that are focused on solving the environmental crisis through business.” Marcario said Patagonia also would continue to donate to environmental causes.

Founder Yvon Chouinard announced the restructuring in a letter to the industry, and said Patagonia Works is different from other holding companies: “While most holding companies are about diversification, Patagonia Works is dedicated to a single cause: using business to help solve the environmental crisis.”

Marcario said that even though the news was just announced, the company already has fielded several requests from businesses seeking investments, plus inquiries from venture capital funds interested in co-investing.

Though Marcario didn’t name any of the companies that have applied or could be receiving funding, she did say “one of these companies we invest in could end up being a Patagonia-branded company.” Patagonia itself doesn’t have any immediate plans to expand beyond food and clothing for now, she noted.

Chouinard wrote that organizing the company this way is in line with its grander vision.

“Business — and human — success in the next 100 years will have to come from working with nature rather than using it up,” Chouinard said in his letter. “That is a necessity, not a luxury as it’s seen now in most business quarters. We invite and encourage all companies to start to work with us in that direction.”

For more information, or to find out how to get funding form the $20 Million and Change program, email info@patagoniaworks.com.