If there is money to be made, Ronald Perelman is the man for the job. The 80-year-old American banker, businessman, and investor built his wealth in the 1980s. He bought undervalued companies and sold them for a profit after rebuilding them. And not just buying and selling. When Perelman acquires a company, he sells off its non-profiting products and focuses on its core business. He then uses the money from the sale to buy more undervalued companies, and the cycle continues.
Ronald Perelman had a huge net worth of $20 billion at some point in his career. According to Forbes’s real-time billionaire list, the corporate raider’s current net worth is $1.8 billion. He took a huge hit from the Covid-19 pandemic, dropping from a net worth of $15 billion to around $4 billion within one year, 2020.
Dive into Ronald Perelman’s wealth journey. Learn how the American banker built his fortune and where he invests. Understand the mogul’s financial world.
Ronald Perelman Biography
Ronald Owen Perelman is a billionaire investor who learned the craft from his father at a young age. He was born on January 1, 1943, in Greensboro, North Carolina, to Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman. His father was an aggressive businessman and a successful buyout artist. He started teaching Perelman the art of buying undervalued companies when Ronald was a young boy.
During his first year at Wharton, Perelman and Raymond bought a brewery business for $800,000. After improving its performance for three years, it was sold for $1.8 million.
Though he is a celebrated businessman, Ronald Perelman has not seen a lot of success in marriage. He has been married five times.
He married his first wife, Faith Golding, in 1965. Golding is a real estate and banking heiress. At the time, Faith Golberg’s net worth was already huge. She controlled a $100 million empire. They adopted three children, Steven, Josh, and Hope, before giving birth to their first biological child, Debra Perelman.
Perelman’s marriage to Golding ended in 1984 when she discovered her husband’s ongoing affair. Golding accused Perelman of defrauding First Sterling Corporation’s owners. She claimed he used the company money to buy gifts for his mistress. Perelman paid Faith Golding over $8 million in divorce settlement.
His other ex-wives are Claudia Cohen, married between 1985 and 1994, Patricia Duff, from 1995 to 1996; and Ellen Barkin, married from 2000 to 2006. Ronald Perelman is currently married to Anna Chapman.
Ronald Perelman started working with his father at Belmont Industries at a very young age. He was only 11 when he accompanied his father to his first board meeting. He often traveled around with his father to inspect companies before acquisition.
During his holidays in high school, Perelman studied business dynamics and bookkeeping. He joined his father at Belmont Industries in 1966. After 12 years there, Perelman left Belmont Industries and moved to New York. This was after his father made it clear that he was not handing him control of the company. The two parted ways in anger and did not speak for around six years.
Soon after resigning from Belmont Industries, Perelman bought his first company. He got a loan from his wife, Faith Golding, and bought 40% of Cohen-Hatfield Jewelers. This was his first business acquisition as an independent investor. He sold all the retail locations of Cohen-Hatfield Jewelers, retaining the wholesale jewelry division.
In 1980, Ronald began the process of acquiring MacAndrews & Forbes. He paid $50 million for a controlling interest in the company. The company distributed licorice extract and chocolate. Ronald Perelman sold the chocolate assets and took the company private in 1984.
Through this company, Perelman became one of the fiercest corporate raiders of the 1980s. He bought struggling companies across a wide range of industries. And after stabilizing their core business, he sold them off for high profits.
One of his notable takeovers was the 1983 purchase of Technicolor, the firm that many Hollywood films rely on for vivid coloring. Immediately after the purchase, Perelman sold five of its divisions for $68 million. Within the first five years under Perelman’s leadership, Technicolor made annual profits of $100 million from $3.4 million.
Other notable buyouts include Compact Video and New World Entertainment. Perelman also purchased Consolidated Cigar Holdings Ltd in the 1980s.
Another of Perelman’s famous deals of the 1980s was the acquisition of the cosmetics company Revlon. He put his plan in motion in 1985 by buying a controlling interest in Pantry Pride. Pantry Pride was a chain supermarket that had also shown interest in Revlon. Revlon was losing hold of its market share due to stiff competition.
After selling Pantry Pride’s assets, he could manage the financing costs of Revlon’s outstanding shares. He incurred a $3 billion debt to finalize the deal, paying $1.8 billion to Revlon shareholders and $900 million in transaction fees and costs. After buying Revlon through Pantry Pride, he changed Pantry Pride’s name to Revlon Group.
In the late 1980s, Perelman purchased bankrupt savings & loans, which he sold to Bank of America in the early 1990s for $1 billion.
What Does Ronald Perelman Do With His Wealth?
Ronald Perelman has many notable homes. His primary residence is a 40-room mansion sitting on a 60-acre estate on Georgica Pond, East Hampton. Constructed in 1899, the house is quite old and rare in design, making it difficult to attach a figure to its value. But it could be worth $200 million.
Ronald owns a large valuable collection of art. At different times, his art collection rose to $6 billion. He has sold many pieces from the gallery in recent years. At different times, his art collection featured works by Jasper Johns and Francis Bacon. He also collects art from Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, and Cy Twombly.
Take a Look at Billionaire Ron Perelman Sells Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Assets:
Once known as the richest man in America, Ronald Perelman is still feeling the hit of the pandemic. He once owned a private jet, a Gulfstream G650, which he sold. He also owned a 257-foot yacht, which he also sold.
Ronald Perelman gave a $125,000 donation to Trump Victory in September 2017 to support his presidential campaign. In 2015, he gave $500,000 each to Super PACs supporting Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush.
He has also donated to other causes besides politics. In 1995, he used $4.7 million to build the Ronald O. Perelman Institute for Judaic Studies at Princeton University. Perelman also gave $20 million to the University of Pennsylvania and $10 million to New York University. He donated another $20 million to Guggenheim Museum.
Perelman has given millions of dollars to several charity foundations. They include Michael J. Fox Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters in Philadelphia.
Lessons From Ronald Perelman
His life story shows that Ronald Perelman made it to the top by pushing himself harder than anyone else. And this is one of the most important lessons from Perelman. The CEO of Macandrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. says the hardest part is the beginning. Once you manage to push through the crowd, you can easily make it to the top.
Have A Vision
“Keep on building, and your vision will become your reality. Keep on building, and success will be yours.”
Every step of the way is important. Every defeat, heartbreak, or loss contains a seed. It contains a lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.
What Is Ronald Perelman’s Annual Earnings?
We can only work estimates of Ronal Perelman’s annual earnings, due to his net worth facing such a drastic drop. The American banker and investor make a monthly income of around $250 million and around $1 billion annually.
Who is the New Face of Revlon?
Megan Thee Stallion is the current face of Revlon. The chart-topping rapper was appointed Revlon brand ambassador in 2020.
Ronald Perelman is one of the fiercest corporate raiders of the 1980s. He built his net worth by buying ailing companies and rebuilding them by selling their distressed assets. Using Michael Milken’s junk bonds to finance acquisitions, Perelman acquired dozens of companies.
One of Ronald’s big buyouts was the Macandrews & Forbes Incorporated, which he rebuilt and used to buy other companies. He invests in many industries, including groceries, cigars, and licorice. He also invests in companies dealing with makeup, cars, and camping supplies. He has invested in banks, television, and comic book publishing.
His current net worth is $1.8 billion.