Are y’all ready for Paula Deen’s comeback?
Deen’s new company, Paula Deen Ventures, has received an investment between $US75 million and $US100 million from Najafi Cos., The Wall Street Journal reports.
Jahm Najafi, who owns the Book-of-the-Month Club, SkyMall magazine, and BMG Music Service, believes his Phoenix-based investment company
can help Deen broker new deals by retiring her current business model, which sells her likeness and expertise to others.
Najafi, on the other hand, says, “Our investment allows the Paula Deen brand to expand their relationships and the partnerships that are already in place, and support those partnerships on a go-forward basis.”
Steven Nanula, chief executive of Paula Deen Ventures, tells WSJ that the new company is already in talks with TV networks, retail chains, and other possible partners — her former home The Food Network, from which she was fired in June, is not among them.
Najafi believes that Deen’s powerful social media presence is what ultimately will bring the TV chef back to the airwaves.
“The important thing to remember is that her fan base is rabid,” he explained. “Her Facebook fan base has more than doubled in the past year. The Paula Deen brand is alive and well.”
Speaking to WSJ via e-mail, Deen said it’s the “hundreds of thousands of folks who signed up on Facebook’s ‘We Support Paula Deen’ page” who have gotten her through the difficult year. She adds that”Hundreds of thousands of my fans sent me messages of love and support.”
Deen posted another message of gratitude to her Facebook page earlier today:
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your kind words. I’m very excited about the journey that lies ahead, and can’t wait to take y’all with me! Sending all of y’all love and best wishes from the bottom of my heart.
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