FriendFinder Counters Hefner; Offers $210 Million For Playboy


Four days after Playboy (NYSE: PLA) founder Hugh Hefner made a bid to take his company private, Penthouse parent FriendFinder Networks is making its own $210 million offer for the company, as was widely expected. FriendFinder argues in a letter to the Playboy board that its proposal tops Hefner’s all-cash offer, which values the company at $185 million.

FriendFinder doesn’t seem to have completely formulated its bid quite yet, however. It’s phrasing its proposal as an “indication of interest” and says it’s still contacting lenders to finance it, although the company says “we are very confident that ample financial resources will be available to complete this transaction.” FriendFinder also says it might be able to increase the value of its offer if receives “certain due diligence information” from Playboy.

In a letter to Playboy’s board, FriendFinder says it still wants to keep Hefner involved in the company, adding that Hefener would be able to keep editorial control of Playboy Magazine and would be able to live in the Playboy mansion. The latter requirement reportedly was a factor in derailing Iconix Group’s interest in the company late last year.

Here’s an interview on CNBC with FriendFinder Networks CEO Marc Bell today in which he talks about how he would build up Playboy’s online presence:

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