Once ranked the world’s richest man, with a net worth that soared to close to $20 billion, businessman and investor Ron Perelman, now 78 and long considered a corporation raiding poster child for Wall Street’s 1980s “Greed Is Good” ethos, says he wants to clean house and downsize to live a simpler life.
As understandable as the desire for a simpler life may be, it happens to come at the very same time when the lavish living billionaire’s empire, with the Revlon makeup colossus as its financially struggling crown jewel, is saddled with around $3 billion in debt. Top executives at his holding company, MacAndrews & Forbes, have either been ousted or quit, and his net worth has plummeted, according to the bean counters at Forbes, to a not-exactly-ready-for-the-poor-house $2.7 billion.
Regardless of whether he’s selling off his many high-maintenance assets in the service of a simpler life, or to pay off creditors and stave off bankruptcy, as some of the rumors go, Perelman has for the last couple of years has engaged in a sort of billionaire’s-only garage sale, offering and unloading a staggering number of premium-grade assets.
In 2020, he sold off a majority of his shares in AM General, the company that makes Hummers and HumVees — it was characterized in the press as a fire sale, his $65 million Gulfstream 650 jet went up for sale, and the voracious contemporary art collector, whose collection is worth, by some estimates, several billion bucks, has already off-loaded about $350 million worth of blue-chip artworks, including Alberto Giacometti’s nine-foot-tall “Grande femme I,” which was off-loaded last year to an unknown buyer in a sealed auction with a minimum bid of $90 million.
His nearly 16,000-square-foot Manhattan townhouse popped up for sale on the open market last spring at $60 million (it remains for sale at the same price), and though he’s denied it, the New York Post reported in 2020 he was “entertaining offers” in the neighborhood of $180 million for what’s known as The Creeks, his epic 57-acre spread on East Hampton’s gorgeous Georgica Pond. Meanwhile, another East Hampton estate, a nine-acre oceanfront property that was home to his beloved second wife Claudia Cohen until her death in 2007, was put up for sale last year at $115 million, and unconfirmed scuttlebutt making its way down the real estate street, as reported in The New York Times, is that the Lily Pond Lane property is set to trade at around $80 million.
Also on the block is C2, his mansion-sized boat, asking €90 million, a bit more than US$102 million. Just shy of a football field in length, the 281-foot mega yacht, with its striking navy-blue hull and crew of 27, has a transoceanic range of more than 6,500 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 13.5 knots and will comfortably accommodate 31 guests in 15 staterooms. Said to be named after Claudia Cohen, C2 is available through Burgess and currently berthed in a Foreign Trade Zone in West Palm Beach, Fla., according to promo materials.