By: Ellen Cans
Ron Perelman, the banker, businessman, investor and philanthropist, continues to sell off his prized assets. The 77-year-old billionaire has put two adjacent Upper East Side townhouses on the market for sale asking $75 million. As reported by Bloomberg News, the attached Manhattan homes are on East 63rd Street, with the larger of the two asking a price of $65 million, as per a source with information on the matter. Details on the town houses at 36-38 East 63rd Street were not disclosed, but suffice to say the neighborhood offers some of the most posh shopping and entertainment in the city.
The listings, which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes as part of a larger effort by Perelman to offload some of his vast investments “due to changes in the world both socially and economically”. His spokesman had told Bloomberg News that the divestitures “will allow us to be opportunistic and flexible in looking at new situations.” Perelman had said that he wanted to scale back after “holding onto too many things that I don’t use or even want”.
Perelman has already sold off his 70-percent share in AM General , the maker of Humvee military jeeps, at a fire-sale price at the end of July. The other 30 percent of the company was sold by philanthropist and businessman Ira Rennert. The sale, which was announced by Perelman’s investment firm MacAndrews & Forbes, had insiders guesstimating that the deal brought in less than $1 billion.
That is well below the $2 billion Perelman was asking when he first listed the company two years ago. In fact, it’s around the same price he paid for the company in 2004. Alas, however, Perelman had made money off of dividends from the investment over the years, as per a source for the Post. The rumored sale price is equivalent to about 6.5 times the company’s earnings, but well below the initial asking price of 10 times the earnings.
As was previously reported in the Jewish Voice in September of this year, Sotheby’s London helped the Revlon-owner sell his major Joan Miró and Henri Matisse paintings in its cross-category sale for $28.7 million and $8.3 million respectively. Sotheby’s will now act as broker for additional pieces, mostly conducting private transactions rather than public auctions. Liz Sterling, one of Perelman’s former in-house curators, currently is director of private sales at Sotheby’s New York. As per Bloomberg, Perelman’s treasury of art, which will be offered for sale, is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Pieces are from notable artists including Richard Serra, Cy Twombly, Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Jeff Koons. Perelman will use the proceeds of the art sales to pay off a loan from Citigroup, as per Artnet.
In a rare public statement in August, Perelman told Vanity Fair that he was trying to simplify his life. “This period has given me the space to think carefully about myself and my business, and to reset my priorities…. A simpler life, with less running around and more time with my family, including homeschooling our youngest children, has energized me and taught me new things.”
Perelman now has a dwindling net worth of about $4.2 billion, which is well below its peak which was once estimated at almost $20 billion, as per Bloomberg. Perelman’s company, MacAndrews & Forbes, has invested in a wide array of sectors including groceries, makeup giant Revlon, cars, security, gaming, photography, television, camping supplies, jewelry, banks, and comic book publishing. Perelman has annually been one of the largest philanthropic donors in the world. In 2017, Forbes magazine named Perelman one of the “100 Greatest Living Business Minds.”