Peter M. Brant
|Peter M. Brant|
March 1, 1947 |
New York City, New York,
|Alma mater||University of Colorado Boulder|
|Occupation||Chairman of White Birch Paper, Brant Publications, Brant Foundation|
|Net worth||2.7 billion (estimated)|
|Spouse(s)||Sandra Simms (m. 1969–95)
Stephanie Seymour (m. 1995)
--Peter Brant, Jr.
--Lily Margaret Brant
--Dylan Andrews (stepson)
Peter M. Brant (born March 1, 1947) is an American industrialist, businessman, art collector and philanthropist.
Early life and education
Brant was raised in Jamaica Estates, Queens, a childhood friend of Donald Trump. Brant's father, Murray Brant – who emigrated from a small town near the border of Romania and Bulgaria – cofounded the paper converter (primarily converting paper into newsprint) Brant-Allen Industries with his cousin H. Joseph Allen. Brant attended the University of Colorado but did not graduate instead leaving to work for his father's company.
Brant went to work at Brant-Allen Industries, a paper conversion company co-founded by his father, Murray Brant. In the early '70s, Brant and a cousin, Joseph Allen — the son of Murray Brant’s business partner — led the company into the manufacturing side of the business and expanded the company into paper mill (converting pulp into paper) ownership purchasing a mill in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec and partnering with the Washington Post and Dow Jones to purchase a mill in Ashland, Virginia. In the early 2000s, as paper demand continued to decline, Brant embarked on a buying spree purchasing a second Quebec mill in 2004 for $205 million (from Enron) and a third Quebec mill in 2006 for $135 million. In 2008, he bought out his partner and changed the name of the company to White Birch Paper Company. Also in 2008, he purchased SP Newsprint Co for $305 million, a newsprint manufacturer with operations in Oregon and Georgia. The purchase gave Brant control of 22% of the North American newsprint market, second to AbitibiBowater with 43%. Brant expanded SP Newsprint into paper recycling operating 23 recycling facilities through its SP Recycling unit.
In February 2010, White Birch Paper restructured under Chapter 11 proceedings, due to excessive debt and declining demand for newsprint. The company emerged from bankruptcy in January 2012 and closed its main pulp and paper mill in Quebec City, sending home more than 600 workers. White Birch owns two other mills in Quebec, Canada and one in Ashland, Virginia. In 2012, Brant pledged a portion of his art collection as security to purchase White Birch Paper out of bankruptcy in partnership with Black Diamond Capital Management LLC for $94.5 million in cash and $78 million in debt. Brant remains as CEO of White Birch Paper.
In November 2011, SP Newsprint Co filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to excessive debt and declining demand for newsprint. SP Newsprint operates two mills in Dublin, Georgia and Newberg, Oregon and 23 recycling facilities. In September 2012, SP Newsprint was purchased out of bankruptcy by SP Fiber Technologies LLC for an undisclosed amount.
Brant Publications, Inc.
Brant is the owner and chairman of Brant Publications, Inc., located in New York City, founded in 1984. BPI publishes four magazines:
- Interview was founded by artist Andy Warhol and John Wilcock in late 1969. These interviews were usually unedited or edited in the eccentric fashion of Warhol's books and The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again. Brant Publications began publishing Interview shortly after Warhol’s death in 1987. The magazine celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010.
- The magazine Antiques is a monthly arts publication that focuses on architecture, interior design, and fine and decorative arts. Regular monthly columns include news on current exhibitions and art-world events, notes on collecting, and book reviews. The magazine was founded in 1922 and underwent a complete redesign in 2009.
- Art in America is an illustrated monthly, international magazine concentrating on the contemporary art world. It has been published since 1913.
- Modern, was launched in 2009 and is a magazine devoted to design, decorative arts and architecture.
Brant’s interest in art also led him into film producing. He was a producer of L’Amour in 1973 and Andy Warhol's Bad in 1977. Brant was an executive producer of the award-winning films Basquiat (1996) and Pollock (2000). Brant was also co-producer of the Peabody- and Emmy-award winning PBS documentary, Andy Warhol: A Documentary (2006). Brant is a producer of The Homesman, an 1850s period Western and official selection for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep.
Art collector and The Brant Foundation Art Study Center
Brant bought his first pieces of art after turning an $8,000 investment into several hundred thousand dollars as a young man. His first purchases according to The New York Times, included "a couple of Warhols and, later, a major Franz Kline.” In 1976, Brant commissioned Andy Warhol to paint his cocker spaniel, Ginger. Warhol made two paintings of Ginger, as well as drawings.
On May 9, 2009, The Brant Foundation Art Study Center opened in Greenwich, CT. On the site of a converted 110-year-old stone barn, architect Richard Gluckman redesigned the 9,800-square-foot (910 m2) space as a gallery and learning center, which will showcase long-term exhibitions and promote the appreciation of contemporary art and design. The non-profit center is open to the public by appointment.The Brant Foundation Art Study Center featured an exhibition by artist Urs Fischer in 2010 and painter Josh Smith in 2011. Brant's tax returns for 2010 showed that he contributed $3 million to the foundation, and it spent $1.8 million on acquisitions, exhibitions and building-related costs.
Kentucky Derby and Polo
Brant was the breeder of 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch. Thunder Gulch is the son of Gulch out of the mare Line of Thunder, who were both owned and bred by Brant. In addition, Brant is an accomplished polo player and at one time, was the highest-rated amateur player in the U.S. Brant is the co-founder of the Greenwich Polo Club, the Saratoga Polo Association, and the Bridgehampton Polo Club.
Brant has five children from his first marriage to Sandra Simms (born 1955). Four of his children with Simms have worked for Brant companies: Christopher as president of White Birch; Ryan as director of Brant Publications, Kelly as online director Brant Publications; and Allison as director of the Brant Foundation. They divorced in 1995. On July 14, 1995, Brant married supermodel Stephanie Seymour (born 1968) and they have two sons and one daughter together: Peter Brant, Jr. (born December 1993), Harry (born 1996), and Lily Margaret (born October 27, 2004). In 2009, the couple filed for divorce but subsequently reconciled. He has a step-son, Dylan, from Seymour's first marriage to guitarist Tom Andrews and ten grandchildren.
- The Homesman (2013)
- United States Public Record Number 266651146
- "Son of supermodel Stephanie Seymour forced to apologise after joking he 'has a plan to kill Obama'". Daily Mail. November 8, 2012.
- "Peter Brant and Stephanie Seymour put their contemporary art collection on show" from The Art Newspaper
- New York Times: "For Richer or for ... Not Quite as Rich" By DAVID SEGAL January 23, 2010
- Reuters: "Peter Brant's SP Newsprint files bankruptcy" By Jonathan Stempel November 15, 2011
- News & Tach: "White Birch files for bankruptcy" February 25, 2010
- Bloomberg: "Baron Brant Pledges Warhols to Revive Family Business" By Miles Weiss and Katya Kazakina September 28, 2012
- PRN Newswire: "BD White Birch Investment LLC Completes Acquisition of White Birch Paper Company" September 18, 2012
- Waste 360: "SP Fiber Buys Paper Recycling Firm SP Newsprint" by Allan Gerlat September 11, 2012
- "Interview Magazine Celebrates 40th Anniversary" from The Wall Street Journal (February 2010)
- Publishing Executive: "Brant Publications Launches MODERN Magazine" June 12, 2009
- Modern Magazine on-line
- Variety: "Review: ‘Pollock’" September 7, 2000
- Variety: "Review: ‘Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film'" August 31, 2006
- Deadline: "Hailee Steinfeld Joins Tommy Lee Jones Frontier Pic 'The Homesman'" April 10, 2013
- Variety: "Cannes Film Festival: Early Pics Include Tommy Lee Jones’ ‘The Homesman,’ ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’" April 16, 2014
- The New Yorker: Art On The Grass" by John Seabrook May 4, 2009
- The New York Times Art Insider: John Smith in Venice and Connecticut" by Carol Vogel April 14, 2011
- Mike Boehm (September 28, 2012), Los Angeles Times: "MOCA trustee Peter Brant using his art to get business loans" by Mike Boehm September 28, 2010
- Nate Freeman (August 12, 2014), Peter Brant Purchases Walter De Maria's Massive Home Studio for Reasons that Remain to be Seen New York Observer.
- Carol Vogel (October 30, 2014), Mythology and Media New York Times.
- Museum Publicity: "The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Elects Trustees Peter M. Brant, Steven T. Mnuchin, and Victor Pinchuk" December 21, 2009
- Kentucky Derby, Derby History, Thunder Gulch
- Palm Beach Daily News: "Saratoga Celebrates Polo Club's Revival" July 19, 1979
- Hamptons Online: "The Sport of Kings Returns To Bridgehampton Polo Field" by Edward Callaghan July 21, 2009
- The London Evening Standard: "Meet the godparents of Elton John's new baby" January 12, 2011
- New York Times: "The New Princes of the City (There’s Even a Harry)" By WILLIAM VAN METER June 20, 2012
- Los Angeles Times: "Stephanie Seymour, husband Peter Brant call off divorce thanks to Navajo blanket" by Emily Christianson April 13, 2011