After months of deliberation, Playboy Enterprises (NYSE:PLA) signed off on deal Monday to be taken private by its founder Hugh Hefner for $207.3 million.
The “go-private” transaction from Icon Acquisition Holdings, a limited partnership controlled by Hefner, values Playboy at $6.15 a share, representing an 18.3% premium to its close on Friday. The deal also represents a 56.1% premium on Playboy’s close on July 9, the last trading day before a deal was first announced.
Hefner, who controls about 69.5% of Playboy’s Class A shares and 27.7% of its Class B shares, has obtained equity commitments for the deal from an affiliate of Rizvi Traverse Management and a debt commitment from Jefferies.
Playboy’s board of directors unanimously approved the deal after a special committee of the board said the deal is “advisable” and “fair to and in the best interest of” the company’s shareholders.
“With the completion of this transaction, Playboy will come full circle, returning to its roots as a private company,” Hefner said in a statement. “I believe this agreement will give us the resources and flexibility to return Playboy to its unique position and to further expand our business around the world."
Under the terms of the deal, Hefner and his affiliates will offer $6.15 in cash for all of the outstanding shares they do not own. Plainfield Asset Management and certain of its affiliates, which together own 19.05% of the Class A shares, have committed to tender their shares in the offer.
Hefner expects to start the tender offer no later than January 21. The transaction is expected to be completed before or shortly after the end of the first quarter.
While Playboy still has strong brand recognition, the company's publishing business has been slammed by people flocking to the Internet.
Playboy said CEO Scott Flanders will keep his job under the new ownership.
“Our strategy is to transform Playboy into a brand management company," Flanders said. "This transaction will advance our efforts by strengthening our balance sheet and streamlining our operations, while creating opportunities to participate in new ventures.