Hugh Hefner Takes Playboy Empire Private

Let’s face it, all that free Internet porn has made the beleaguered Playboy empire into as old a fogie as its founder Hugh Hefner what with revenue plummetting and the media company running huge losses. Nevertheless the octogenarian and the limited partnership he controls, Icon Acquisition Holdings, today succeeded in taking Playboy Enterprises Inc for $6.15 a share. “With the completion of this transaction, Playboy will come full circle, returning to its roots as a private company,” Hefner said in a statement. “I believe this agreement will give us the resources and flexibility to return Playboy to its unique position and to further expand our business around the world.” The share price represents a 18.3% premium over Playboy’s closing price Friday. Playboy CEO Scott Flanders, who will remain with the company and maintain a significant equity investment in Playboy, says the strategy is to transform Playboy into “a brand management company”. Hefner is Playboy’s largest shareholder with about 70% of the company’s voting shares and 28% of the nonvoting stock. Hefner had to fend off a bid from the company owning rival Penthouse magazine.

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