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 5)
Shanken: But it almost doesn't even have to be a sound business judgment.
Perelman: Yes, it does.
Shanken: On Route 29 in Napa Valley there are over 200 wineries of which probably 50 wineries were uneconomic from day one. All the wineries were built in the last 15 years without any regard to investment or business reality. Rich people came in, they wanted to have a winery, they wanted to build a château. They'll never make a profit. The standing wine-industry joke is: Do you know how to make a small fortune in wine? Start with a large one.
Perelman: We've been very disciplined in staying away from nonfinancial, ego-gratification-type businesses.
Shanken: Just this one time, Ron?
Perelman: OK. If the right opportunity comes along, it might be interesting. And we'll look at it anyway.
Shanken: What kind of cigars do you smoke?
Perelman: They [Consolidated Cigar] actually do an H. Upmann for me at about a 38 ring gauge, a long, narrow cigar that I love.
Shanken: Is that the only cigar you smoke?
Perelman: I'm smoking one of yours now, which is great. I'm going to come back here once a week and smoke cigars.
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