The family of Fidelity Investments Chairman Edward “Ned” Johnson and senior executives are trading $3.8 billion of preferred stock for common stock and bonds, a move that could save them millions in taxes, Bloomberg reports.
The change will protect the Johnsons from potential rises in capital gains taxes, said Daniel Noll, an analyst who follows the company for Moody’s Investors Service. Regardless of whether the Internal Revenue Service treats the transaction as a sale or as dividends, the gains will be taxed at a rate of 15%.
A Fidelity spokeswoman said the move would not affect control of the company and was done to simplify the firm’s capital structure. She said management is not planning to sell the company or issue an initial public offering.