Penthouse makes play for Playboy

FriendFinder Networks, the owner of adult content provider Penthouse, has lodged an offer for Playboy.

The offer comes in the same week that Playboy founder Hugh Hefner attempted to take the company, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, private.

As well as its publishing and merchandising activities, Playboy operates a bouquet of adult channels in the US and internationally. Penthouse has also dabbled in TV, but has much less of a presence than its counterpart.

FriendFinder’s offer values Playboy at US$210 million and has aked to meet Playboy directors next week to discuss the deal.

Marc Bell, FriendFinder Networks’ CEO, said, “We are very excited about the prospect for the combination of Playboy Enterprises and FriendFinder Networks. We look forward to Mr. Hefner and other key members of management being an integral part of the combined companies.”

Hefner owns a majority of the Playboy voting stock and made his bid last week, partnering with private equity firm Rizvi Traverse. His offer valued the company at about US$185 million.