Paula Deen has found a key ingredient to bringing some sizzle back to her career — a cash infusion worth at least $75 million from a private investment firm.
The Savannah-based celebrity cook announced Wednesday that she’s launched an umbrella company that will oversee her restaurants, cookbooks, product endorsements, and other remaining slices of her media empire. The new company, called Paula Deen Ventures, said private-equity firm Najafi Companies is investing $75 million to $100 million to help Deen make a comeback.
Deen’s fortunes took a dive last year after comments she made under oath during proceedings in a lawsuit, namely that she had used racial slurs in the past, became public. The Food Network dropped Deen, as did pork producer Smithfield Foods, book publisher Ballantine, and several other companies that paid her to endorse their products.
In a statement, Deen praised the partnership with Phoenix-based Najafi and the decision to name Steven Nanula, who has already worked with Deen for the past two years, to serve as CEO of Paula Deen Ventures. READ FULL STORY