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Johnson’s Publishing Co. Taps J.P. Morgan Chase as Investor

The publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines and the owner of Fashion Fair Cosmetics will use the money to fund projects already in the works.

J.P. Morgan Chase’s Special Investments Group has invested an undisclosed sum into Johnson’s Publishing Co., the publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, as well as the owner of Fashion Fair Cosmetics. The company’s chief executive officer, Desirée Rogers, said the money will be used immediately, funding projects already in the works for the third and fourth quarters. Fashion Fair, the company’s cosmetics line for women of color, for example, will receive new in-store displays (in retailers such as Macy’s), as well as a more comprehensive marketing plan, and also a new Web site.

Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson, said the investment shows the bank’s “belief in our brands…with Fashion Fair being a major part of our stable. They believe there is continued growth in that business,” she said, adding that acquisitions will also be considered to grow business. “We have had a relationship with Chase for almost 50 years. It used to be the First National Bank of Chicago, the first and only banking relationship my father had when he started this company, so it was kind of an evolution. It’s great to have additional resources even though we are on a growth trajectory.” J.P. Morgan will serve as a strategic adviser, in addition to a financial partner, said Johnson.