FriendFinder Bids $210 Million for Playboy

BOCA RATON, FL—FriendFinder Networks Inc. has made a proposal to acquire Playboy Enterprises, Inc. for $210 million. The company also said that it has retained Imperial Capital, LLC as financial advisor in connection with its proposal to acquire the iconic company.

FriendFinder, a dating and social networking company that claims over 30,000 websites with over 350 million registrants in over 160 countries, is the parent company of Penthouse magazine

In a press release issued shortly after 12:00pm EST, the company said it believes its proposal is in the best interest of Playboy and its stockholders, and that its large affiliate network will help Playboy extend its global reach and enhance the Playboy legacy. 

"We are very excited about the prospect for the combination of Playboy Enterprises and FriendFinder Networks," said FriendFinder CEO Marc Bell. "We look forward to Mr. Hefner and other key members of management being an integral part of the combined companies."

In a letter to the Playboy board of directors Monday, Hefner expressed his own interest in purchasing back all outstanding shares and taking the company private He said he had retained private-equity company Rizvi Traverse Management LLC in his bid to regain complete ownership of the company he founded in 1953.

In a letter to the Playboy board of directors, FriendFinder proposed a July 21 meeting to discuss the offer. In the letter, Bell envisions an arrangement "where we would partner with Mr. Hefner in our efforts to drive shareholder value," and, upon the completion of a successful transaction, "Mr. Hefner would retain editorial control of Playboy Magazine and would be entitled to reside in the Playboy Mansion."

The FriendFinder letter to the Playboy board can be read here