Not that this matters in the scheme of things, but shows the opportunities that Playboy Enterprises (NYSE: PLA) squandered over the years that helped it land in its current fix: the adult entertainment company looked at buying Various Inc, the parent of AdultFriendfinder, two years ago, before Penthouse bought it for $500 million and filed for its IPO late last year, we have confirmed from multiple sources. The talks didn’t become too serious after Playboy realized its market cap was nowhere near where it could afford to buy a big cash generating machine like Friendfinder, whose adult-related “dating” sites has been its cash cow for most part.
This along with many other companies that Playboy didn’t buy, almost all of them in the male entertainment space. Another source told me it looked at buying Fark, the news and weird links aggregation site, but that didn’t go down well with the management either. Now with a new CEO at the helm, the company’s trying to cut costs and rethink its future position, whether through a sale or combination with some other entity; I suggested Maxim recently.
Meanwhile, an aside: what happened with the Fark sale process? I heard the news and weird links aggregation site hired a banker last year, and tried to position itself as the Digg alternative to buy. With Digg’s own bad luck with a sale, no wonder Fark didn’t get bought out either.