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VENTURA - The billionaire owner of outdoor clothing brand Patagonia says he has given away the company to a charitable trust which will plough any profits not reinvested in the company into fighting climate change.

Yvon Chouinard, 83, who founded the company in 1973, says the new ownership structure would see around US$100m a year being given away to environmental causes at current business levels.

However, the Chouinard family and existing executives will continue to run the business which sells hiking and other outdoor clothing in more than 10 countries around the world.

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