With serious financial backing, Paula Deen readies for a rally


Preheat those ovens and get out your sticks of butter, it looks like celebrity chef Paula Deen is poised for a serious comeback.

Paula Deen Ventures, a recently formed company, has revealed that it has received a financial investment of between $75 million and $100 million from Najafi Cos., a private-equity company led by the owner of BMG Music Service and the Book-of-the-Month Club, Jahm Najafi.

Najafi said of the cash infusion:

“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.”

Via an email interview with Yahoo! Finance Deen, who lost her gig with The Food Network and several endorsements after being embroiled in a controversy over her past use of racial slurs, said that she’s drawn strength from social media support sites like the ones that popped up on Facebook attracting hundreds of thousands of likes.

Paula said, “I hope one day that everyone can have the opportunity to know who I am, as my family, friends and fans do.”

Najafi doesn’t see his investment as an outlier risk. “The important thing to remember is that her fan base is rabid. Her Facebook fan base has more than doubled in the past year. The Paula Deen brand is alive and well.”

Steve Nanula, who was brought in to head up Paula Deen Ventures, added that the company is in talks with TV networks, retail chains and other possible partners.

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