And so does FriendFinder Network, owner of Penthouse which actually offered slightly more than Hugh Hefner’s $207m for the listed publisher. But Hefner, who is 84 and founded the magazine in December 1953, owned a blocking stake in the company.
Sales of the iconic men’s magazine are dropping through the floor but CEO Scott Flanders, who’s staying on as CEO is clear about the new company’s intentions. “Our intention is to transform Playboy into a brand management company,” he says.
Playboy already licenses itself to numerous others including resorts and the makers of various forms of merchandise. Whether or not the Playboy brand, which used to stand for naughty but (fairly) nice still has the legs is open to debate though.
Playboy is just the latest of the one-time giants of the magazine world to be sold on in reduced circumstances, Business Week was sold to financial news and information provider Bloomberg for $5m while Newsweek was bought by 92-year old American businessman Sidney Harman for just $1 (plus accumulated losses) and merged recently with Tina Brown and Barry Diller’s news aggregator website The Daily Beast.