Playboy journal proprietor Playboy Enterprises is exploring choices that embody going public by way of a merger with a clean-examine acquisition firm, in response to individuals accustomed to the matter.
A cope with a clean-examine agency – referred to on Wall Street as a particular goal acquisition firm (SPAC) – would end in Playboy’s return to the inventory market, 9 years after it went non-public in a $207 million deal led by its late founder Hugh Hefner and personal fairness agency Rizvi Traverse Management.
Since then, the corporate’s print gross sales have fallen additional. The COVID-19 pandemic compounded its challenges, main Playboy earlier this yr to cease printing the journal, ending an almost seven-decade run on newsstands that started in 1953 with a debut situation that includes Marilyn Monroe.
Playboy is working with an funding financial institution to interact in discussions with a possible SPAC purchaser, the sources stated. A deal, if one is reached, would give Playboy entry to cash it must finance development initiatives that it in any other case may not be capable of faucet, one of many sources stated. The sources spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of the talks are confidential.
The sources cautioned that it’s doable no deal will materialize. A consultant for Playboy declined to remark. Rizvi Traverse Chief Investment Officer Suhail Rizvi didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Hefner, who based Playboy in 1953, died in 2017 on the age of 91. His household bought a 35% stake in Playboy to Rizvi Traverse for $35 million in 2018, in response to PitchBook information.
The firm had explored a sale in 2016, Reuters reported on the time.
Playboy journal’s rabbit silhouette turned the most effective recognized logos on the earth and the “bunny” waitresses in Hefner’s Playboy nightclubs have been immediately recognizable of their low-minimize bathing go well with-type uniforms with bow ties, puffy cotton tails and pert rabbit ears.
In current years, Playboy has expanded past its media enterprise to refashion itself as a life-style model. It has additionally licensed its model and brand to others. Playboy did away with full-frontal nudity beginning in its March 2016 situation, however reversed course a yr later.
A SPAC is a shell firm which raises funds in an preliminary public providing (IPO) with the objective of buying a non-public firm. The acquired firm then turns into publicly traded consequently. Such automobiles have emerged in 2020 as an more and more well-liked path to the general public markets over a standard IPO.
Many of essentially the most profitable SPAC acquisitions this yr have been for prime-profile shopper manufacturers, comparable to Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp’s buy of sports activities betting platform DraftKings Inc , or for corporations in rising industries like electrical automobiles and plant-primarily based meals.