Artnews SA Files for Bankruptcy

Mogul Peter Brant had just assumed control.

A view of the Interior of Warsaw Stock Exchange in Warsaw on November 9, 2010. Warsaw Stock Exchange shares jumped when they were launched on Tuesday, marking the success of post-Communist Poland in switching to a market economy and of the exchange, now the biggest in central Europe. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Artnews SA, the Polish company that briefly published the New York–based ARTnews magazine and, even briefer still, Art in America, has filed for bankruptcy and liquidation of its assets, according to the Polish website Investments. The company is traded on the Polish stock exchange.

New York art collector and newsprint mogul Peter Brant is the majority shareholder (doing business as BMP Media Holdings LLC), with 59.5 percent of shares in the company, according to ARTnews’s website. Brant’s representatives did not reply to a request for comment. (Full disclosure: I worked at Art in America in various editorial capacities from 2004 to 2014.)

Artnews SA’s website lists Sutton PR as its representative. Asked for comment, a Sutton rep told artnet News that Sutton hasn’t worked with Artnews for nearly a year.

UPDATE: Brant’s representatives sent a statement:

Last month, BMP Media Holdings took control of Art in AmericaMODERNThe Magazine ANTIQUES, and ARTnews from their former parent company, Artnews S.A., which is based in Poland. This week, BMP announced that those titles will be held under the name Art Media Holdings LLC, a privately held company located in New York. Artnews S.A., which owns Art & Business magazine and Skate’s Art Market Research, has no affiliation with the U.S.–based ARTnews magazine and, despite their similar names. Art Media Holdings, the newly formed company, which is wholly owned by Peter Brant, is located in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. All of its magazines, websites, and related publications will continue as usual.

ARTnews, the 114-year-old magazine, merged in 2015 with Brant’s Art in America, which brought the smaller publications the Magazine Antiques and Modern along with it. Brant’s Interview magazine remained separate from that deal, which saw Brant acquire a 47.61 percent share in Artnews SA. The New York Times reports that the price tag for Art in America was about $17 million.

Various changes followed. ARTnews dropped from a monthly to a quarterly publication schedule. The company CEO, Izabela Depczyk, resigned with immediate effect four months after the deal. Former Warhol protégé Vincent Fremont took over her position the following month.

Brant announced last month that he had “assumed full control” of all four of his magazines. The bankruptcy filing followed two weeks later.

Investments reports that the company applied for “announcement of business collapse and liquidation of assets,” saying that worsening financial conditions made restructuring impossible.

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