Sex sells. But who’s buying? Apparently not enough as far as Playboy (NYSE: PLA) is concerned. The company has steadily gone downhill since the mid 1970’s when Hugh Heffner stepped down as CEO to spend more quality time on screwing his shareholders.
Playboy has been an irrelevant media business for over 20 years, run by incompetents, perpetually losing millions of dollars a year. Meanwhile, Hugh Heffner lives the life of a petro-state despot, complete with a private zoo, and a harem of prostitutes paid for by the shareholders. Alas, the money is running out, and investors have been apathetic, with PLA trading in the $2 range. Yet there is hope for one Last Tango in Paris….. The board of directors is apparently trying to shop the company to some sucker. This could yield a $6-8 price….
NY Post reports:
PLAYBOY Enterprises, the far-flung empire founded by Hugh Hefner in 1953, is quietly being shopped around for $300 million, sources tell Media Ink.
But so far, well-heeled suitors that have been approached, like Apollo Capital Partners and Providence Equity Partners, haven’t stepped up.
The battered company’s market capitalization is now around $100 million and nobody has been willing to pay the substantial premium that it would take to persuade Hef to sell.
Sources said the sellers are looking for far more than the company’s market capitalization because that would ensure Hef has enough on hand to maintain his lavish lifestyle.
“Everyone says he’ll never let go, that he’ll take it with him to the grave,” said one source.
The empire’s iconic bunny ears are one of the most identifiable trademarks in the world, but the empire has fallen on hard times as the Internet and video-on-demand have eroded its core brand, the magazine.
Hefner, now 83 years old, said recently that one of his biggest regrets was taking Playboy public.