Najafi Companies affiliate, Najafi Media, a $2 billion content and consumer distribution company, has announced that it has partnered with celebrity chef 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. According to multiple media reports, Najafi will invest between $75 million and $100 million in Deen’s new enterprise.
“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,” Jahm Najafi, founder and CEO of Najafi Companies, said. “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.”
The new Paula Deen enterprise has appointed retail industry veteran, Steven Nanula, as CEO. 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.
“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,” said 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,” Deen said.
“Paula’s deep involvement in developing and bringing great products to market demonstrates her high level of commitment and passion for her business,” Nanula said. “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.”