February 11, 2012

Wealthy financier invests in Maine papers

S. Donald Sussman, a prominent Maine philanthropist, will have an equity stake in MaineToday Media and a seat on its board.

By Tux Turkel tturkel@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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The investors, called 2100 Trust, said they planned to put significant money into the newspapers. But Kushner and Harte were unable to come to final terms with management over a business plan, and their demands to cut wages and benefits and to change working conditions were rejected by Guild-represented employees.

"We thank the 2100 Trust for their serious interest in MaineToday Media," said Brodsky. "They are clearly committed to this industry."

Sussman's involvement in MaineToday Media is bound to generate renewed interest in his background and his business and civic dealings.

Sussman is a Florida native who lived in New York and first came to Maine on a sailing trip in 1992. He spent summers on Deer Isle, and he continues to help support two restaurants and other endeavors in Stonington. He also donated $1.5 million for an outpatient center at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital.

Sussman has worked in hedge fund and private equity investing for more than 30 years. He is founder and chief investment officer of a billion-dollar-plus investment fund based in Greenwich, Conn., Paloma Partners. Although he has been identified in media reports as being a billionaire, Sussman declined to specify his net worth, saying only that "it's substantial."

Sussman is a trustee or board member of several institutions, including the Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges, the Portland Museum of Art, the Investment Committee of Carnegie Hall and the University of the Virgin Islands.

Sussman has a strong interest in agriculture and conservation issues, and owns two organic farms: David's Folly Farm in Brooksville and Turner Farm in North Haven, where he lives with Pingree.

He has other real estate holdings in locations including Greenwich, Conn., New York City, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands. In Portland, he owns several properties in the Hampshire Street area off Munjoy Hill.

Sussman, who will turn 66 in June, has given millions of dollars to charitable and civic institutions in Maine. He was named the Spurwink Humanitarian of the Year in 2011. He also received a Maine Philanthropy Award last year at Colby College.

Sussman married Pingree in June in a private ceremony at the couple's home in North Haven. They had met in 2007, and got engaged in 2008.

Staff Writer Tux Turkel can be contacted at 791-6462 or at:

tturkel@mainetoday.com

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