A new report from the Wall Street Journal says that Playboy Enterprises Inc. might be sold soon.
According to sources, the investment bank Moelis & Co. is “advising” the company, which went private a few years ago for a deal that valued the company at $207 million:
Playboy could fetch north of $500 million, and potential buyers could include companies that would license the brand for use in consumer goods, new media outfits and trophy buyers, the people said.
This news—which Playboy hasn’t commented on—makes sense, given their recent shift away from nudity; what better way to make your company more attractive than to get rid of the one thing that defines it, but also makes it less appealing to the average buyer.
The report also suggests that the sale wasn’t even really on the table until Playboy put up the Mansion, which brought bidders who were interested in the whole company out of the woodwork. There’s no deal done yet; the company could divide and sell portions of itself (remember, a huge percentage of their revenue is merchandising, separate from their editorial operations) or could not sell at all.
Throughout all these changes, founder Hugh Hefner has remained mostly silent. His son Cooper, once the heir-apparent to the company throne, has said that he’s been pushed out from decisions by company CEO Scott Flanders. “I was essentially asked to no longer participate in the board meetings because I didn’t agree with his vision for the company,” Cooper said in an interview last month.
Image via Playboy