Former Exec Griffiths Also In Talks To Buy Playboy


A second bidder has emerged in the battle to take over Playboy (NYSE: PLA). The LA Times and Reuters both report that a group led by former Playboy Entertainment chief James Griffiths and PE firm Golden Gate Capital is in discussions to buy the company for around $300 million. This follows Thursday’s report that Iconix Brand Group, the company behind apparel brands like London Fog and Starter, was looking at Playboy’s books.

While Iconix is likely interested in Playboy’s licensing assets, Griffiths’ interest is probably more media-focused. He spent six years as president of worldwide television distribution at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, before joining Playboy in early 2004. (He left less than two years later, as part of a management reorg). Golden Gate’s holdings, meanwhile, include TV and radio station operator MAX Media.

One interesting aside if Griffiths/Golden Gate and Iconix are in fact the two bidders: Golden Gate beat out Iconix in the auction to buy outdoor clothing chain Eddie Bauer this summer. Playboy is not commenting on any of these reports, although it has said since February that it would be open to offers for a buyout.

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