SAVANNAH, Ga. — Paula Deen has found a key ingredient to bringing some sizzle back to her career – a cash infusion worth at least $75 million from a private investment firm.

The Savannah-based celebrity cook announced Wednesday that she’s launched an umbrella company that will oversee her restaurants, cookbooks, product endorsements and other remaining slices of her media empire. The new company, called Paula Deen Ventures, said private-equity firm Najafi Cos. is investing $75 million to $100 million to help Deen make a comeback.

Deen’s fortunes took a dive last year after comments she made under oath during proceedings in a lawsuit, namely that she had used racial slurs in the past, became public. The Food Network dropped Deen, as did pork producer Smithfield Foods, book publisher Ballantine and several other companies that paid her to endorse their products.

In a statement, Deen praised the partnership with Phoenix-based Najafi and the decision to name Steven Nanula, who has worked with Deen for the past two years, to serve as CEO of Paula Deen Ventures.

“I know this is the right decision to lead my team, as we continue to share quality products with my fans – whose love and support have built my brands,” Deen said.

Jahm Najafi, CEO of the Najafi Cos., said his firm has great respect for Deen’s past success and is confident its investment will pay off.