SBD/April 18, 2014/Franchises

Irsay Has Plan To Ensure Colts Remain In The Family Through Foreseeable Future

Jim Irsay has owned the Colts since his father's death in January '97
The Irsay family "is in firm control" of the Colts, and it is "highly unlikely that ever will change, even in the event Jim Irsay ... one day steps away and allows one of his three daughters to assume principal ownership," according to Mike Chappell of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. At issue is whether the daughters -- Carlie Irsay-Gordon, Casey Foyt and Kalen Irsay -- would be "able to handle the massive estate tax that would come with their inheriting their father's portion of the business." Colts VP & General Counsel Dan Emerson insisted that any discussion of "an eventual transition of principal ownership within the family was premature." But he added, "Estate planning certainly is not an issue that has been ignored." Chappell notes Jim Irsay assumed 100% ownership of the Colts "upon the death of his father, Robert, in January 1997."  The current percentage of ownership "by each member of the family isn't known." It is conceivable Jim Irsay "gradually has transferred portions of ownership to his daughters to absorb reasonable taxes at the time and potentially ease a much larger obligation in the future." Hypothetically, he could "defer a significant estate tax by retaining his portion of ownership but allowing one of his daughters to run the team" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/18).
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