Playboy is Officially Private

CHICAGO—Playboy Enterprises is now officially back in the hands of the man who in December of 1953 launched what would swiftly become the company’s iconic lifestyle magazine. 57 years later, after surviving peaks and valleys that would make a sailor jump ship, Hefner, still spry at 84, has succeeded in taking the struggling publicly traded company private in a deal worth $207.3 million.

“Class A shares in Playboy were suspended from public trading as of yesterday, and Class B shares will follow suit at the market’s close today,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “Once the deal is officially wrapped up, Hef will own 37 percent of the company.”

Today actually marks the closing of the acquisition of Playboy by Icon Acquisition Holdings, whose wholly owned subsidiary, Icon Merger Sub, “accepted for payment and purchased for $6.15 per share, net to the seller in cash, less any applicable withholding taxes, all shares validly tendered in the offer (excluding shares tendered under guaranteed delivery procedures) and effected a short-form merger with and into Playboy,” according to an announcement issued by Playboy earlier today. The merger was effective as of 10:29 a.m. EST.

The announcement also stated, “As previously announced, affiliates of Rizvi Traverse Management LLC (Rizvi Traverse) and Jefferies & Company, Inc. provided equity and debt financing, respectively, for the transaction. Hugh M. Hefner will remain Editor-in-Chief and Chief Creative Officer of Playboy, with Scott Flanders continuing in his role as CEO. Both Mr. Hefner and Mr. Flanders maintain equity stakes in Playboy through their ownership interest in Purchaser.”

Hefner, Flanders and Ben Kohn, Managing Partner of Rizvi Traverse's Los Angeles Office, each commented on the historic occasion.

"Today marks the beginning of an exciting era for this company and our iconic brand,” Hefner said. “I believe this new ownership structure will allow us to further capitalize on the unique and global appeal of the Playboy brand, and I look forward to our future success."

Flanders added, "Our partnership with Rizvi Traverse brings Playboy new resources and expertise, which will help us more quickly and efficiently execute on our strategy to transform Playboy into a brand management company. With this transaction completed, we can now turn our full focus on the effective management of our existing operations and the development of new business opportunities."

Kohn stated, "We are pleased to partner with Mr. Hefner and Mr. Flanders as this legendary brand enters a new chapter. We believe this team has the right strategy and vision, and now the right ownership structure, to fully realize its potential."

As previously reported, FriendFinder Networks Inc., parent company of Penthouse, also had made a proposal to acquire Playboy Enterprises.