Paula Deen Set For Possible Comeback Following Major Private-Equity Investment

Paula Deen may be down, but she’s certainly not out.

Her recently formed company, Paula Deen Ventures, has reportedly received a sizable investment from a private-equity company to help rebuild her brand and image.

The Wall Street Journal reports the former Food Network star will use the money -- between $75 million and $100 million -- from Najafi Companies to focus less on promoting her personality as a food expert and more on her ownership of partnered brands.

Paula Deen Ventures Chief Executive Officer Steven Nanula told the outlet the company is currently in talks with multiple TV networks and retail chains for potential partnerships.

However, it is unclear whether or not the Southern cooking expert will return to television in any capacity. The Huffington Post reached out to Paula Deen Ventures but did not receive an immediate response.

Deen fell from the public’s favor in June 2013, when a scandal emerged regarding her past use of racially charged slurs. The incident cost her a television show and several key sponsors. However, thanks to viral campaigns and a dedicated fan base, Deen continues to soldier on.

“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,” Deen said in a press release. “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.”

According to the release, Paula Deen Ventures is based in Savannah, Ga., and has offices in New York.



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