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Still valuable? Najafi Media invests $75 million into Paula Deen's brand

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To us, it almost sounds like an investor deciding to push cash into a startup. Paula Deen, who saw her career turn to ashes after revelations of her use of the n-word emerged, could see her fortunes rise like a phoenix, Najafi Media -- the company involved -- reported on Wednesday.

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Najafi Media is a Phoenix-based $2 billion content and consumer distribution company. A subsidary of Najafi Companies, it has partnered with Deen and her company, Paula Deen Ventures (PDV), and given it a $75 million infusion in case. PDV, by the way, includes Paula Deen Foods, Paula Deen Media, Paula Deen Restaurants, Paula Deen Cookware and Paula Deen Home.

Interestingly enough, Deen isn't CEO of the new venture. Instead, Najafi Media has appointed a retail industry veteran, Steven Nanula, as Chief Executive Officer.

Jahm Najafi, founder and CEO of Najafi Companies said: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. 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.

Meanwhile, Deen said:

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. 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.

Will we see Deen on the back of airline seas? Could be; in 2012 Najafi bought SkyMall magazine.

As interesting fodder for rumor, in addition to SkyMall, Najafi owns the Book of the Month Club and Columbia House.


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