Skip to comments.OBITUARY: Born into riches, Edgar Bronfman grew into philanthropy
Posted on 01/13/2014 1:23:58 PM PST by imardmd1
The tale of the Bronfman family is one of Canadas most legendary: how a poor Jewish
immigrant from what is now Moldova established a liquor empire based in Montreal
that grew to become one of the worlds best-known brands.
Mr. Bronfman, who died on Dec. 21 at the age of 84 in New York, turned that complicated
patrimony into an unusual journey. At Seagram Co. Ltd., he led the company into new
businesses and into its most profitable investment, only to later champion the decisions
that led to the firms demise.
He decided to retire at the age of 65 in 1994 and become co-chairman of the company.
Earlier, he had determined that his second son, Edgar Jr., rather than Samuel,
the eldest, would succeed him as chief executive. But fearing the conflict between
his sons, he blurted out his choice to a reporter for Fortune magazine -- before
discussing it with either his son Samuel or his board of directors. It was a "huge
mistake," he later wrote.
It was also a choice that would prove controversial. As chief executive, Edgar Bronfman Jr.,
known in the family as Efer, led Seagram into the entertainment business, purchasing
MCA and PolyGram. To pay for those investments, he sold Seagrams 25-per-cent stake
in DuPont, which was delivering hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dividends
to Seagrams bottom line. In 1998, Mr. Bronfman Sr. airily dismissed DuPont as
"boring" -- a point on which he and Efer agreed, he wrote.
Mr. Bronfman died of natural causes related to his advanced age, according to a spokesman
for his charitable foundation.
(Excerpt) Read more at theglobeandmail.com ...
But . . . who of the general public is aware of the influence of this man? Not many, it seems.
A less complementary storybook account of Bronfman's activities is found here:
One FR article references Bronfman's support of teenager "gay" activists:
Bronf in Yiddish means whiskey.
Bronf in Redneck means “I’m hurling”.
If that’s true then Seagrams was whiskeyman’s destiny
Which one was kidnapped, and maybe lost an ear in the ordeal?
Well, he left behind one of the great buildings of NYC.
I do know, they were very close to owning DuPont.
Building as oppressive, intolerant, inhuman, functionalist ideology. The international style comes out of a played-out and discredited fad: the European reaction against the human person as the ultimate module.
There’s a little in the original article — I snipped it out for posting
Ah, it’s a great building. Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard had lunch outside the building in “Breakfast at Tiffanys,” and I had many a dirty water hot dog seated on its wide plaza on my lunch hour. A NY classic and home to the Four Seasons.
You’re thinking of a Getty.
There was a lot of their influence exercised to get Dupont to integrate backward into oil (for plastics and solvents), and buy out their ownership of Conoco Oil. Dupont traded shares for all of Conoco stock, so the Bronfmans wound up with 24% of The Dupont Company's voting stock, which was enough for complete control.
Dupont was supposed to have bought out Conoco. Actually, Conoco bought out Dupont, IMHO.
In the end, they forced the company to buy back its own stock massively into the treasury, elevating stock street value. Then they issued notes to Dupont as loans for the company to buy back about $2 billion of the Bronfmans' stock at the elevated price, and thus the Bs were out awash with cash owed to them by the company.
One of the nasty little deals was to force the retirement fund to buy a $500 million block of their stock. (Usually, one expects a retirement fund to diversify away from the stock of the parent company.)
I think they did this kind of thing with a lot of other companies. Those whose wealth was based on the wreckage of people's lives through the booze industry could not have had much care as to how their machinations affected the lives and loyalty of Dupont employees.
About the ear, most likely.
Samuel Bronfman On Aug. 9, 1975, Samuel (who was 21 at the time) was abducted from a family estate in suburban New York...
The only reason I remember something about it was a HS classmate got accepted to Williams shortly afterward, and mentioned it at the time.