Peter Brant Sr. cuts deal for himself in Interview relaunch
By Kristopher Fraser
Aug 10, 2018
The hearts of fashion, art, and cultural afficionados were broken earlier this year when Interview Magazine announced it would be ceasing publication. However, it quickly made a comeback thanks to the newly launched Crystal Ball Media. The magazine is currently poised to relaunch despite 3 million dollars in unpaid debt too, but such is the complicated nature of bankruptcy law.
The magazine's former publisher and owner Peter Brant Sr. is pushing for an almost immediate sale of Interview's assets, demanding the yet-to-be-approved deal close by the end of August according to WWD. The magazine is already set to relaunch with a September issue and a transgender cover star.
Interview originally filed for liquidation when it folded, which meant it didn't have to pay its creditors or former employees. Prior to the bankruptcy, Brant established a holding company, Singleton LLC, which held his 8 million dollar secured claim on Interview's assets.
Singleton has executed the deal to buy Interview, meaning that Brant is essentially buying back the magazine from himself and paying himself 1.5 million dollars. The magazine is also relaunching with the same team as before, including his daughter Kelly Brant. The trustee overseeing the bankruptcy would like to see the sale close before the end of the month, however there are two issues here. Since Interview was a liquidation it will have to go through an auction process where people will bid on its assets, meaning Brant could be squeezed out unless he wants to pay himself more money. There has been talk in the industry of interest in acquiring the magazine, however it's not worth the 10 million dollars it would cost to pay Brant for it.
It's also possible that Fabien Baron, the former editorial director of Interview, who won approval to subpoena Brant and Singleton's financial records to figure out how and why Interview filed for bankruptcy and where the money for Brant's secured claim came from, could delay this process. Baron is attempting to push for a delay in the sale of Interview in order to comply with his subpoena schedule.
Baron's lawyer pointed out with the current schedule there will be no time to review the documents. Given that Brant is considered an insider in the sale, they have been punishing for extra scrutiny. However, it does look like Brant is coming out on top in this situation and Interview will relaunch successfully. The tides are in his favor.