Ex-Marvel Owner Who Put Company Into Bankruptcy Can No Longer Afford College Naming Rights

Former owner of Marvel Comics, Ron Perelman, lost the naming rights to a new residential college at Princeton by being unable to afford his pledge.

Former owner of Marvel Comics, Ron Perelman, who infamously led the company into bankruptcy in the mid-1990s, has lost the naming rights to a new residential college at Princeton University after his foundation was unable to pay to $65 million that Perelman had pledged to the college in 2018 to have the college named after him.

Perelman’s daughter, Debra Perelman, graduated from Princeton in 1996 and the Perelmans already have the The Ronald O. Perelman Institute for Judaic Studies named after the famous investor and businessman, but they could not come through with the money needed to have the new college also named in their honor.


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A Princeton spokesperson announced, “The University has terminated the gift agreement with the Perelman Family Foundation, Inc. to name a residential college because the Foundation has not made payments due under that agreement. We remain grateful for the Perelman family’s long-standing support.”

Allegedly, Perelman had not made any payments towards the pledge and had attempted to work out an alternate payment schedule, but Princeton ultimately did not agree with his attempts to alter the payment plan.

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Perelman and his holding companies have bought and sold numerous corporations over the years, including Marvel Comics, which Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings purchased from New World Entertainment in 1989 for $82.5 million (just a tad shy of the $4 billion Disney then paid for Marvel in 2009).

Perelman then acquired another $700 million worth of other companies to merge into Marvel Entertainment, including the trading card companies, Fleer Corporation and SkyBox International, the Italian sticker manufacturer Panini Group and a significant stake in the toy company, ToyBiz. Comic book sales and trading card sales both plummeted in the mid-1990s and Perelman’s plan to get through the sales slump was to create Marvel Studios and make movies based on Marvel characters. A number of shareholders, led by Carl Icahn, opposed this plan (as they did not want to spend even more money after spending $700 million in acquisitions in the previous two years). Perelman then decided to push Marvel into bankruptcy in the hopes that he would come out of it with greater control of the company. Instead, after a long fight for control with Icahn, both of them lost out when ToyBiz’s owners Isaac Perlmutter and Avi Arad purchased Marvel in 1997 and pushed out both Perelman and Icahn.

So many of Perelman’s buyouts of companies came with high debt burdens, and after the COVID-19 pandemic knocked the world economy down quite a bit, it had a particularly oversized impact on Perelman’s assets. Almost certainly as a result, Perelman has been going on a major selloff of some of his properties since 2020, including trying to sell a jet, a yacht, some of his amazing art collection and a $60 million townhouse in New York City. He explained the sales as, “I realized that for far too long, I have been holding onto too many things that I don’t use or even want. I concluded that it’s time for me to clean house, simplify and give others the chance to enjoy some of the beautiful things that I’ve acquired.”

His money issues are now apparently also causing him to lose out on the naming rights at a college at Princeton.

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Source: The Daily Beast

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