Hugh Hefner Takes Playboy Private



2:45 PM PST 03/04/2011 by Georg Szalai



"Today marks the beginning of an exciting era for this company and our iconic brand," the founder says.

NEW YORK - An investor group led by Playboy Enterprises founder Hugh Hefner on Friday closed its $207 million buyout of the adult entertainment firm, giving the group full control of the firm and taking Playboy private.



The buyout of the company, which so far had a stock market listing, came for $6.15 per share via an acquisition vehicle called Icon Acquisition Holdings.



Hefner previously owned 69.5 percent of Playboy's class A stock and 27.7 percent of its Class B stock.

Hefner will remain editor-in-chief, and Scott Flanders will remain CEO. Both will keep equity stakes in Playboy through their ownership stakes in the acquiror.



Affiliates of financial firms Rizvi Traverse Management and Jefferies & Co. provided the financing for the transaction.



"Today marks the beginning of an exciting era for this company and our iconic brand," said Hefner. "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."



Said Flanders: "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."

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