Penthouse Media Group Planning to Go Public

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Penthouse Media Group International announced on Wednesday that it expects to file a registration statement during the second quarter of 2008 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell shares of its common stock.


The offering is expected to raise $250 million, the proceeds of which "will be used primarily to discharge existing indebtedness," the company said.


CEO Marc Bell was not immediately available for comment, but in previous public appearances, he said he planned to take the company public this year.


Penthouse was founded in 1965 in the United Kingdom by Bob Guccione and began publishing in the United States in 1969.


Bell, who formerly served as chairman and CEO of the Globix Corp., and his investment group Marc Bell Capital Partners offered funding in 2004 in an effort to save Penthouse magazine when the Guccione family filed for bankruptcy. When Penthouse's owners were unable to pay back the funding, Marc Bell Capital Partners acquired Penthouse.

Bell not only took over operations of the magazine and Penthouse's other ventures, but also began growing them.


In December 2007, the company acquired Various, an operator of dating and social networking sites such as AdultFriendFinder, for $500 million.


"I figured we were buying all these small companies, [so] why not buy a big one?" Bell said.

It wasn't long before Bell got a call from Andrew Conru and Legendary Lars, who were looking to sell Various.

But Bell and PMGI haven't stopped there. Penthouse magazine has been repositioned, and PMGI has expanded its services in moviemaking, broadcast and cable television, and club licensing.


"I expect us to be four times the size of Playboy by the time we go public," Bell previously said.