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Malibu's Wealthy: Andrew Jerrold Perenchio
Jerry Perenchio is Malibu's largest landowner and certainly one of the City's wealthiest residents. Forbes estimated his net worth to be $2.4 billion in 2005.
Perenchio's family had vineyards and a winery in Fresno, but Hollywood beckoned to Jerry who became a talent agent at MCA. There, and later as an independent agent, he represented some of Hollywood's top talent. In 1971 he branched into sports promotion with the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight in Madison Square Garden, then in 1973 the super-hyped tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.
He founded TV and film company Embassy Communications with Norman Lear, a major success that was sold to Coca Cola for $485 million in 1985. In a quick speculation, he made $140 million by buying, then selling, the Loews Cineplex theater chain in under one year.
His biggest payoff came with his decision to enter the Hispanic market. In 1992, he joined with Mexico's Televisa and Venezuelan programmer Venevision International to buy five TV stations and a small Spanish network for $550 million, the foundation of Univision Communications Inc., now the nation's largest Spanish-language TV network where Perenchio is Chairman and controlling stockholder. Univision went public in 1996 and shares have more than tripled since.
Perenchio's Malibu Bay Company
Through his Malibu Bay Company, formed in 1989, Perenchio has acquired large blocks of land in Malibu, including significant holdings in the Civic Center area, Point Dume and west Malibu. In 1982 he built a private "golf course" on land adjacent to his Malibu Colony home, surrounded by a high wall. Since that land was once part of the Malibu Creek lagoon, and waste empties into the lagoon, his use of it has been controversial and the subject of lawsuits from environmental groups who claim he violated his permits.
At the end of 2005, the City of Malibu purchased the Chili Cook-Off site from Malibu Bay Company, as described in detail on the linked page of MalibuComplete.com.
Perenchio's Philanthropy and Political Activity
Perenchio has donated millions to leading Democrats and Republicans, including being one of the top donors to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign. He has become personal friends with both President George W. Bush, and his father President George H.W. Bush. Over the years, it is reported that he has contributed over $700,000 to the Bush political cause. However, he has also been a major supporter of New Mexico's Democratic/Hispanic Governor Bill Richardson.
He is notoriously quiet and does little to publicize his work or his contributions to charity. Still, it is estimated that he has made philanthropic donations in excess of $50 million to various causes.
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