Paula Deen has been given the chance at a comeback after a private investment firm has awarded her up to $100 million, which includes a contract to sell her items in Skymall magazines.
The celebrity chef moved her business to one parent company that just landed a major investor.
The new company, called Paula Deen Ventures, announced Wednesday that private-equity firm Najafi Companies is investing $75 million to $100 million to help her business thrive.
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 that led to a major controversy.
Paula was asked under oath if she had ever used the N-word. “Yes, of course,” she replied, adding, “It’s been a very long time”.
The lawsuit was settled out of court in August, but the damage to her business was major.
Paul Deen was dropped by The Food Network, 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 couple of years to serve as the CEO of Paula Deen Ventures.
She said, “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”.
Jahm Najafi, CEO of the Najafi Companies, said his firm has great respect for Deen’s past success and is confident their investment will pay off.
Najafi said in a statement, “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”.
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