Why is the Revlon Billionaire Unloading Assets?

Photo credit: Stephen Lovekin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Stephen Lovekin – Getty Images

From Town & Country

Billionaires—especially those who leverage and buy out—unload pricey assets all the time. They sell during upturns, downturns, and global pandemics—the timing doesn’t really matter for those who operate in the financial stratosphere.

Only a few months ago, for example, Henry Kravis (of Barbarians at the Gate fame) sold a Colorado mansion he built in 1991 to Mike Bloomberg (of $900-million-failed-presidential-bid fame) for $45 million. No big deal. It barely made the real estate pages.

But recently, one of the country’s most feared dealmakers—Revlon majority stockholder and longtime occupant of the Forbes and Bloomberg billionaire ranking lists—Ronald O. Perelman, has been making news by selling assets. A lot of them. Rapidly.

Earlier this month, the New York Post reported Perelman was shopping his 57-acre East Hampton estate, the Creeks, for $180 million in a so-called “whisper sale.” (A spokesperson for Perelman told the paper that the property is not on the market.) The Creeks is where Perelman held an annual, celebrity-packed fundraiser, Apollo in the Hamptons, from 2009 to 2019 to benefit the Harlem theater.

Photo credit: Patrick McMullan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Patrick McMullan – Getty Images

On September 14, MacAndrews & Forbes, an investment company owned by Perelman, announced it would sell its shares of Scientific Games, a maker of casino, interactive, and instant lottery games, for an estimated $1 billion.

On July 28, two paintings from Perelman’s vast art collection, Peinture (Femme au Chapeau Rouge) by Joan Miró and a portrait of Carla Avogadro by Henri Matisse, were sold at auction by Sotheby’s for a combined $37.2 million (the estimate had been $53 million). According to Bloomberg, the pieces were the first among many works owned by Perelman that the auction house will offer.

MacAndrews & Forbes agreed to sell