Newsprint Manufacturer Files for Bankruptcy
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Newsprint Manufacturer Files for Bankruptcy

November 25, 2011

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SP Newsprint Co., which was a major player in the newspaper manufacturing industry, has filed for bankruptcy under a Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware.

According to a report from Reuters, the embattled newsprint company, which is owned by newsprint baron and art enthusiast Peter Brant, had described itself as the fourth-largest manufacturer of newspapers in the United States.

Several factors, though, led to the decline of the newsprint giant. The increased demand of raw materials, particularly wood and ink, as well as increased competition from foreign companies played a large role in the financial struggles of Brant’s company.

But the biggest source of frustration for companies like SP Newsprint is the dramatic decrease of newspaper readers, as many former customers turn to paperless online reading or opt for non-traditional media sources, like blogs and local newspapers.

These trends have impacted other giants in the newspaper industry, as evidenced by the recent bankruptcy filing of NewPage Corp., which had been the largest producer of magazine paper in North America.

The bankruptcy may be bad news for employees at SP Newsprint’s mills in Newberg, Oregon and Dublin, Georgia, which may remain open during the bankruptcy reorganization, although sources were not yet sure of the fate of these factories.

The annual output of these two factories would be sorely missed, as the two mills create a combined 910,000 metric tons of newsprint each year. The company also runs 23 recycling factories through its subsidiary, SP Recycling Corp.

Brant, it should be noted, is no stranger to bankruptcy law. In 2010, a newspaper manufacturer in Canada that was owned by Brant also filed for bankruptcy. The company’s U.S. affiliate also filed for bankruptcy protection later that year in Virginia.

While the bankruptcy filings will certainly put a dent in Brant’s fortunes, sources indicate that he is still doing remarkably well, at least in terms of overall wealth.

Sources indicate that Brant has previously appeared on Forbes magazine’s list of the wealthiest Americans, and that he may still be considered a billionaire.

Brant is also married to former supermodel Stephanie Seymour, and he owns a vast array of well-respected art magazines through his company, Brant Publications Inc.

Alas, while his publishing company may continue to create new content, Brant may no longer be able to publish his works with his own newsprint.


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