Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Paula Deen Comeback - Company Invests Millions In Hopes Of A Comeback

Paula Deen Ventures, which is a recently formed new company, has received an investment between $75 and $100 million from Najafi Companies according to the Wall Street Journal.  The money is going to be used to help Paula establish new deals and obtain new partnerships with other companies.  Also, the chief executive of Paula Deen Ventures has said that the company is in talks with TV networks, retail chains, and other possible partners, but has yet to announce any deals.

A Food Network spokeswoman said that they have not had any talks with Paula Deen about appearing on the network.

The Najafi Companies often invest in companies that are "out of popular favor," and say one of the reasons for investing in Paula Deen is her "rabid fan base."

A press release about the deal from Businesswire is below:

Najafi Companies Invests in Paula Deen

Investor Backs Brand and Hires Seasoned Management Team

SAVANNAH, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Najafi Companies affiliate, Najafi Media, a $2 billion content and consumer distribution company, announced today that it has partnered with author, restaurateur and entrepreneur, Paula Deen, to build and grow her business, Paula Deen Ventures (PDV). PDV includes Paula Deen Foods, Paula Deen Media, Paula Deen Restaurants, Paula Deen Cookware and Paula Deen Home. The new enterprise has appointed retail industry veteran, Steven Nanula, as Chief Executive Officer.

Nanula started his career at Tops Friendly Markets. After 22 years, he left as a senior executive to launch Logistic Park, his business focused on the food industry, providing fully integrated logistics, including warehousing, transportation and manufacturing. Before working with Paula Deen, Nanula and his family’s Nanco Group purchased and rebranded retailer Wilson Farms. For the last two years, Nanula has led the development of the Paula Deen Food Company.

“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 Jahm Najafi, founder and CEO of Najafi Companies. “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.”

“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,” adds Deen.

“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.”

About Paula Deen Ventures

Paula Deen Ventures partners with world-class product lines, food manufacturers and various media properties to deliver great products to her fans. Deen has sold over 8,000,000 copies of her 14 cookbooks and is supported by one of the largest social media followings on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, on which one of her most recent recipes was the most ‘re-pinned’ globally. In addition, her recent annual Paula Deen Cruise was filled with “first timers” – new attendees to this yearly event. The Savannah, Georgia restaurant, The Lady & Sons, founded with her sons Jamie and Bobby Deen, remains one of the country’s most popular regional restaurants. Paula Deen Ventures is headquartered in Savannah, Georgia with offices in New York.

About Najafi Companies

Najafi Companies is an international private investment firm based in Phoenix, Arizona, with offices in New York, Paris, Toronto and holdings in sectors including consumer, media, technology, industrial, energy and real estate across seven countries. The firm makes highly-selective investments in companies with strong management teams across a variety of industries, often in areas undergoing rapid technological transformation. The firm takes a long-term view on its investments and focuses its efforts to create value through growth and superior performance. Najafi Companies funds its investments with internally generated capital, not through a fund. Free from the restrictions of a fund, the firm is able to move quickly and decisively when investing, and with no requirements to return capital to outside partners, Najafi Companies is able to make investments that create maximum value for the long-term.

The Rose Group
Elana Weiss-Rose
[email protected]


  1. No surprise here. FN canned her for reasons that had nothing to do with the allegations against PD. Her ratings were declining (due to over exposure by FN perhaps) so they jumped on the trial bandwagon and used that as the reason they cut her loose. Double win for rid of a declining celebrity and, as a public relations salvo, tried to appear that FN was taking the moral high road. Doesn't say much for the failing FN.

  2. Paula Deen and Martha Stewart are a couple of old bags that hang on due to being constantly recycled. There must be something better out there, besides Paula Deen.

  3. Just leave Martha Stewart out of this--like her.

  4. If you had read the depositions, you would know that FN had no choice but to fire her, but I agree that her declining ratings were probably also a factor. I am still amazed by the people who are totally ignorant of the multitude of factors involved in her firing. Can't stand the woman or her phony, exaggerated accent.

  5. I did read the was not at all flattering. On that note....look into all of the other FN chefs that have legal problems. Easy enough to find...just google the chefs name.

  6. I have a long legal background. What you said is true, but, in Paula Deen's case, this is about so much more, i.e., her inappropriate behavior, vulgarity, simulation of sexual acts, and filthy mouth.

  7. True....and FN promoted and encouraged this behavior with the likes of "Paula's Party". No doubt..."PP" was good for the FN bottom line.

  8. She is a felon who did time. You can still like her but she is far from pristine. (Not defending Deen)

  9. Deen wanted to throw a party, and have black food servers dress as slaves while they served the food to her white guests. Now how sick does someone have to be to want to throw a party like that. How sick does someone have to be, just to attend a party like that. It wasn't a joke, it was an expression of how Paula Deen feels about black people. It's not complicated. Furthermore all the recipes she demonstrated on her boring show were extremely unhealthy. Anyone can cook tasty food when they use shrimp, pork, four pounds of butter, frying oil, potatoes, cream, buckets of salt, and of course probably shorten your lifespan by a good 15-20 years. I Noticed recently the sick Deen family sons have crept back on the air at the sister network food channel.I hated her show even before the scandals broke. I can take Bobby Flay and Mario Battali stealing millions in tips from their food servers, pompous jerks like Scott Conant or Simon Majumdar, I can take Robert Irvine lying on his resume saying he cooked Princess Diana's wedding cake, and being a poor mans clone of Chef Ramsay. I can take all the silly game shows like Chopped or Cutthroat kitchen, but Hell on wheels, no more Paul Deen. I noticed they hired a Demaris somebody or other, to fill that void with more smarm and extremely unhealthy food. It might be time to watch a different type of network