Paula Deen Stirs Up $75M Private Equity, Comeback DealBy: Meaghan Ellis - February 13, 2014
Paula Deen has finally received the revival needed to jumpstart her career again. On Wednesday, Feb. 12, Deen and Najafi Companies issued a detailed press release announcing the establishment of a new enterprise, Paula Deen Ventures.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the billion dollar content and consumer distribution company has agreed to invest an estimated $75 million to $100 million into the venture with the celebrity chef. The monetary backing has been put in place to solidify the success of Deen’s resurgence following last year’s setbacks.
According to The Associated Press, the new company will oversee the distribution of Deen’s restaurants, cookbooks, product endorsements and other remaining entities within her media empire.
Jahm Najafi, founder and CEO of the Phoenix, Arizona-based private investment firm weighed in to share his anticipation about the merger with Deen. “All of us at Najafi Companies have a deep respect for the hard work, unique content and quality products which Paula has built around her brand,” says Najafi.
“We know that the enterprise will be successful and valuable, as Paula and her team continue to bring quality products and experiences to her loyal fan base; and now we have a proven management team in place to build and lead the organization.”
The 67-year-old cooking show television host also had laudatory things to say about her new business partner. She shared her sentiments of business growth, the partnership, and the optimistic vision she has for the Paula Deen Ventures merger.
“I couldn’t imagine a better partner than Jahm Najafi, with his track record of success. Jahm’s vision, attention to detail and entrepreneurial spirit will help us grow to new heights,” says Deen. “Jahm and Steve are both so well respected as leaders. I know this is the right decision to lead my team, as we continue to share quality products with my fans – whose love and support have built my brands.”
Deen also addressed her fans via Twitter expressing her gratitude for all of the congratulatory tweets sent in honor of her new partnership.
Steven Nanula also shed light on some of the upcoming products Deen plans to produce and distribute under the newly launched umbrella company.
“Paula’s deep involvement in developing and bringing great products to market demonstrates her high level of commitment and passion for her business,” says Steven Nanula.
“We are excited with the new enterprise to develop progressive business initiatives, as well as to strengthen existing partnerships that include Meyer Corporation, America’s largest cookware distributor; leading furniture manufacturer, Universal Furniture; and one of the nation’s leaders in natural poultry products, Springer Mountain Chickens.”