Monday, January 10, 2011

Hugh Hefner Takes Playboy Enterprises Private and Gets Engaged

Playboy Enterprises, the world-famous adult entertainment and media company, is to “go private” again.

The media company, which of course publishes the Playboy magazine but also runs an Internet business segment called Playboy Online, alongside TV and radio networks, will be taken private for $6.15 per share by Icon Acquisition Holdings.

The latter is a limited partnership controlled by iconic Playboy Enterprises founder Hugh Hefner (who also just got engaged, hurray!). Playboy originally went public in 1971.

The $6.15 price represents a 18.3% premium over the closing price Friday, January 7, and a 56.1% premium over the $5.50 a share closing price on July 9, 2010, the last trading day before the proposal was first announced.

Icon Acquisition Holdings has obtained equity commitments for the transaction from an affiliate of Rizvi Traverse Management and a debt commitment for the transaction from affiliates of Jefferies & Company.

Playboy CEO Scott Flanders will remain with the company in his current position and maintain a significant equity investment in Playboy. He says the strategy is to transform the struggling Playboy into a full-fledged brand management company:

“This transaction will advance our efforts by strengthening our balance sheet and streamlining our operations, while creating opportunities to participate in new ventures. I am excited about the future, and I look forward to working with our new partners as we guide Playboy into the next era.”

More details on the transaction are available in the press release.

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