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Ron Perelman

Ron Perelman, one of the wealthiest men in America, sits down for his first ever Q&A.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Ron Perelman, Spring 95

(continued from page 13)

Shanken: From the media coverage at the time, it seemed that the Revlon purchase ended up forcing you to dig in and get involved with the nuts and bolts of the company right down to the local plants and so forth. Did you know going in that this was going to be such a complicated high-risk investment?

Perelman: Well, it was neither complicated nor high risk. It was a highly visible investment. It was a highly thought-out transaction. It was probably the largest entrepreneurially managed hostile takeover to date in 1986. And as such it got an enormous amount of press attention. But the profile of the company was exactly what I had described earlier. Revlon was a company that had several pieces, some of which we clearly wanted to sell immediately, some of which we wanted to hold for a longer period of time, and some we wanted to hold forever. And the piece that we were most attracted to was the cosmetics piece.

Shanken: So there was never a time when you stayed up all night, saying what the hell have I got myself into?

Perelman: No.

Shanken: So a lot of the press reports were false?

Perelman: I'm not saying that everything went as I had planned, but there was never a point where I said to myself, why did I get myself into this?

Shanken: I'm aware of many of your investments. They all seem to be very successful. What was your biggest failure?

Perelman: Hmmm.

Shanken: Have you had any failures?

Perelman: Well, I think Revlon has been the most difficult company for us to manage. I think that we fixed it early on in 1986 when we bought it. Then we did not pay enough attention to it for a while, and it suffered from that.

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