Ron Perelman has unloaded AM General, the maker of Humvee military jeeps, at a fire-sale price — the latest signal that the billionaire’s finances may be getting desperate, The Post has learned.
The 77-year-old philanthropist didn’t disclose a price as his investment firm MacAndrews & Forbes announced AM General’s sale on Wednesday to buyout firm KPS Capital Partners. But insiders pegged the deal at less than $1 billion — around the same price Perelman paid for the company in 2004.
That’s well short of the $2 billion that Perelman had reportedly been seeking when he put AM General up for sale two years ago. The final sale price was equal to about 6.5 times the company’s earnings — below Perelman’s initial demand for a multiple of 10 times earnings, according to a source close to the deal.
AM General — which also created the now-defunct Hummer SUV at the behest of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1990s, only to sell the brand to GM — is among a slew of assets that Perelman has been shopping as the coronavirus has clobbered his businesses.
Last week, Perelman said he was exploring a sale of Scientific Games, a maker of slot machines and other gambling products and services. And later this month, he’s looking to raise as much as $53.5 million by selling two masterpieces from his famous art collection — one by Joan Miro and the other by Henri Matisse.
A spokesman said last week that Perelman — who is also majority owner and chairman of Revlon, and who arranged a $1.8 billion debt deal in May to help the cosmetics giant weather the coronavirus — was looking to sell assets “due to changes in the world both socially and economically.
In a statement, the spokesman told Bloomberg News that the divestitures “will allow us to be opportunistic and flexible in looking at new situations.”
Perelman’s fortune now stands at $8 billion, slashed by more than half since early 2018, making him the 78th-wealthiest person in the US, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
In this week’s sale of AM General, Perelman sold his 70-percent stake in the company, while the remaining 30 percent was sold by Ira Rennert, the New York billionaire who famously owns a 66,000-square-foot, 29-bedroom, beachfront house in the Hamptons.
The pair had battled in court for years, with Perelman accusing Rennert in 2012 of using AM General like an ATM machine, taking out more than $100 million in loans he hadn’t repaid. A Delaware judge in December 2012 ordered Rennert to repay $48.7 million to the company.
In 2015, rival OshKosh beat out AM General for a $6.7 billion US Army contract, replacing Humvees with its L-ATV tactical vehicles. The contract comes up for renewal in 2022.
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