News & Opinion | October 1, 2020 10:08 am

Playboy Is Going Public Again

Hugh Hefner took his company private back in 2011

playboy
Playboy is hitting the public markets again.
Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Nearly a decade after late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner took his iconic brand private, the company is set to go public again this year. On Thursday, Playboy announced it would be going public after being acquired by a blank-check firm in a deal valuing the brand at $415 million.

Playboy was taken private by Hefner and private-equity firm Rizvi Traverse back in 2011, and will now return to the public markets through a merger with special acquisition company Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Playboy will receive $58 million from Mountain Crest in addition to another $50 million in private investment in public equity proceeds from investors in a deal that will see Playboy’s owners retaining 66 percent of the company.

While the brand was made famous by its namesake adult magazine, which ceased print publication earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal noted that Playboy has moved away from its publishing roots in recent years, instead focusing on brand licensing and commerce. The deal with Mountain Crest is expected to help the company move forward with these endeavors, providing additional capital that will help Playboy further branch into the e-commerce space.

“This capital will really allow us to accelerate our growth,” said Playboy chief executive Ben Kohn.

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