Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky in Talks to Acquire Playboy
The duo is looking to acquire assets from private equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management.
Hollywood veterans Jeff Sagansky and Harry Sloan are in advanced talks to acquire Playboy Enterprises or parts of it, sources on Thursday confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
Reuters first reported the negotiations.
It wasn't immediately clear if the duo would buy all of Playboy or select parts of the business, and the deal could be part of a portfolio of assets the duo is looking to acquire from private equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management for around $2 billion-$3 billion.
Rizvi's other holdings include stakes in Twitter, Snapchat and Elon Musk's SpaceX, as well as 3D film technology firm RealD, which it acquired earlier in the year.
The acquisition would come via a so-called "special purpose acquisition company," which is created, goes public via an IPO to raise money and promises to invest the money in at least one deal. Sloan and Sagansky recently launched their latest acquisition vehicle and have until next September to spend the $500 million raised.
The vehicle, dubbed Double Eagle Acquisition Corp., is the duo's third, after Global Eagle and Silver Eagle, which raised $190 million and $323 million, respectively. The first one eventually became an in-flight entertainment company and the second one an Indian pay-TV company.
Rizvi and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner took Playboy private in 2011 in a deal valued at $207 million. Playboy's flagship magazine earlier this year stopped publishing nude photos, and it has positioned itself more as a men's lifestyle brand. The company also has consumer products licensing deals. Earlier this year, the company sold the Playboy Mansion for $100 million.
Playboy has been struggling amid online competition. Its first magazine issue without female nudity attracted more advertisers, and more newsstands carried it.
Sagansky is a former president of CBS Entertainment and co-president of Sony Pictures Television, while Sloan used to be chairman and CEO of MGM.
Double Eagle and Playboy declined to comment, and Rizvi could not be reached.