Gary Stevenson

Apostle Gary E. Stevenson speaks at General Conference on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.

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Plans by Logan-based iFIT Health & Fitness to go public on U.S. stock markets could bring immense windfalls for one current top leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and another who recently stepped down.

As co-founder of one of the fitness equipment maker’s early predecessors, Gary E. Stevenson, a member of the faith’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is nominated to become a board director as part of its initial public offering, documents reveal.

That IPO, delayed by company officials last week due to wild market swings, also stands to reward the 66-year-old church leader handsomely for nearly 43.4 million iFIT shares he has accumulated through the years, according to public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company’s Oct. 1 IPO filings with federal regulators set an initial per-share price range for the prospective sale as high as $21 — which would raise the value of Stevenson’s current stock holdings in iFIT to $911.9 million.

Filings with the SEC also detail a $1.79 million loan to Stevenson by the company in 1999 that has since been forgiven and is listed as compensation. It was part of nearly $53.2 million in loans to managers the company said it forgave in preparation for the postponed offering.

Being a corporate board member would appear to violate a long-standing church policy discouraging Latter-day Saint apostles from serving on such boards.

In January 1996, the faith’s governing First Presidency asked the church’s general authorities to gradually withdraw from such positions, in light of growing ecclesiastical duties from a worldwide church membership that had topped 9.3 million at that point. That membership is now above 16.6 million.

A church spokesperson said late Monday that Stevenson had received a special dispensation from church authorities, “resulting from his legacy shareholdings and his role as a co-founder of the corporation.”

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state. To read the full article, click here.

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