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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 12)

Shanken: You bought all of MacAndrews & Forbes?

Perelman: We bought the whole company. It was a public company. We did a public tender.

Shanken: And what did it cost to buy the company?

Perelman: About $45 million to $50 million. We then sold off the chocolate business for the $45 million that we had paid for the whole thing. We were left with the licorice business. But if you look at 80 percent of the transactions that we've done, except for synergistic transactions within existing companies, they were companies that had several unique operations with a core business that we wanted to keep, and other unique or separate businesses that we wanted to exit from.

Shanken: How did you finance the MacAndrews & Forbes acquisition, since that was your first big purchase?

Perelman: We did it with funding from the banks, primarily Chase and First National Bank of Boston, and then found ourselves in a position to quickly repay that because of the sale of the chocolate business. We effectively ended up owning the flavors business for nothing.

Shanken: So Technicolor came after that?

Perelman: And Technicolor had the same profile. We paid $125 million for Technicolor. It was clear that their theatrical film processing/videocassette business was a business we wanted to consider a core business and build on. It had four or five peripheral businesses that we wanted to immediately exit from. And we got about half our purchase price back with the sale of peripheral businesses, and we were left with a core business that we could grow. We took that business from a $5 million cash-flow generator when we bought it to just under a $100 million cash-flow generator when we sold it.

Shanken: When you bought Revlon, what year was that?

Perelman: '86.

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