This excerpt taken from the ITW 8-K filed Aug 7, 2009.
The Company has entered into several affordable housing limited partnerships primarily to receive tax benefits in the form of tax credits and tax deductions from operating losses. These affordable housing investments are accounted for using the effective yield method, in which the investment is amortized to income tax expense as the tax benefits are received. The tax credits are credited to income tax expense as they are allocated to the Company.
The Company entered into a venture capital limited partnership in 2001 that invests primarily in late-stage venture capital opportunities. The Company has a 25% limited partnership interest and accounts for this investment using the equity method, whereby the Company recognizes its proportionate share of the partnership’s income or loss. The partnership’s financial statements are prepared on a mark-to-market basis.
The Company has invested in property developments with a residential construction developer through partnerships in which the Company has a 50% interest. These partnership investments are accounted for using the equity method, whereby the Company recognizes its proportionate share of the partnerships’ income or loss.
The Company neither bears the majority of the risk of loss nor enjoys the majority of any residual returns relative to the property development investments and affordable housing investments, therefore it does not consolidate those entities. The Company’s maximum exposure to loss related to the property development investments and affordable housing investments is $31,151,000 and $79,161,000, respectively, as of December 31, 2008.