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Jobs’s 7.7% Disney Stake Transfers to Trust Led by Widow Laurene

By Rob Golum
November 24, 2011 12:01 AM EST

Steve Jobs’s 7.7 percent stake in Walt Disney (DIS) Co. was transferred on his death to a trust led by Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of the Apple Inc. co-founder.

The Steven P. Jobs Trust reported ownership of 138 million common shares of Disney, valued at $4.6 billion at the close of trading yesterday, according to a 13G regulatory filing. The filing lists Powell Jobs as trustee. A 13G suggests the trust has no intent to influence control of Disney.

Jobs became the biggest shareholder of Burbank, California- based Disney with the 2006 sale of his Pixar computer animation studio to the entertainment and theme-park company for $7.01 billion in stock. The trust gained beneficial ownership of the shares (AAPL) after Jobs died on Oct. 5 at age 56, the filing showed.

Jobs acknowledged investing about $55 million in Pixar, which he bought from “Star Wars” producer George Lucas in 1986. The law offices of Howson & Simon LLP in Walnut Creek, California, were listed as the address of the trust.

Disney, operator of the namesake theme parks, as well as cable networks and ABC television, fell 1.8 percent to $33.40 at the close in New York yesterday. The stock has declined 11 percent this year. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, declined 2.5 percent to $366.99.

Under U.S. law, Jobs’s heirs may sell his Apple and Disney shares and avoid taxes on capital gains that accrued up to the time of his death. If Jobs left his estate to his wife, the family won’t be liable for the 35 percent estate tax until she dies or gives money to others, according to estate planners.

In addition to the Disney stake, Jobs owned 5.55 million Apple shares worth about $2.04 billion, according to filings.

Under U.S. law, the trust can sell the shares and incur taxes only on the appreciation since Jobs’s death. If Jobs had died in 2010, when there was no estate tax, his heirs would have faced the capital gains tax on his entire investment profit if they had sold. That provision lapsed in 2011 when the estate tax was reinstated.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Golum in Los Angeles at rgolum@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Golum at rgolum@bloomberg.net

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