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Billionaire Ronald Perelman Forced to Sell Fortune in Art

Ronald Perelman

Ronald Perelman and Samantha Perelman (Wikipedia)

Billionaire businessman Ronald Perelman may not be a billionaire anymore. He was forced to sell $1 billion worth of art pieces that he owned in order to cover a debt.

Bloomberg reported that Ronald Perelman made the sale because lenders including Deutsche Bank AG demanded repayment of loans after his shares in the cosmetics firm Revlon plummeted in value. The shares were used as collateral on a loan. It also said that Perelman’s holding company, MacAndrews & Forbes, would consider “filing an insurance claim as they believe the resulting proceeds could be $30-50 million, or 3-5x its most recently appraised value,” according to Deutsche Bank’s credit report.

Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Alberto Giacometti, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso and Jean-Michel Basquiat were all listed among the famous artists whose works Perelman was forced to part with.

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Ronald Perelman bought Revlon in 1985 for $1.74 billion.

The sale of the art came as Perelman is still embroiled in a legal battle with the insurers of his art collection. He demanded a $410 million insurance payout for damage Ronald Perelman claimed was caused to five blue-chip artworks in a 2018 fire at his Hamptons estate, known as the Creeks.

Artnet reported that the insurance companies allege that Perelman attempted to sell the five pieces—a Cy Twombly, two Ed Ruschas, and two Andy Warhols—despite saying in an examination under oath that he did not do so. In addition, they allege that he sold two works that were in his house during the fire, casting doubt on his claim that everything on hand suffered damage.

In one recent filing, the insurers assert that Perelman “repeatedly gave deliberately false testimony that concealed his efforts to sell paintings exposed to the September 2018 fire . . . including the very paintings he now claims are damaged and for which he seeks $410 million.” The insurers say that his testimony violated the terms of his policy, which denies coverage if the policyholder intentionally makes false material statements.

Ronald Perelman is an American businessman and investor known for his leveraged buyouts and ownership of a diverse range of companies. MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, his company, has holdings in various industries like cosmetics, cars, entertainment, and more. Forbes estimated Perelman’s net worth to be around $1.9 billion.



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