Hugh Hefner is taking Playboy Enterprises Inc. private.
Online PR News – 12-January-2011 – – Hugh Hefner, whose Playboy magazine first exposed many Americans to the possibilities of sexual freedom during the buttoned-up 1950s, is taking the bunny private.
"Playboy Enterprises Inc, the publisher known for its bunny ears and nude centerfolds, plans to go private in a deal that values the company at $207 million. The owner of rival Penthouse magazine earlier offered a higher bid,"said Samuel Dushey.
Hefner, 84, founded Playboy with $600 in 1953 when he published the first edition of Playboy magazine, featuring a partially nude photograph of Marilyn Monroe.
Playboy has been publicly traded since 1971, and its investors, including Hefner, have seen the company's stock price fall in recent years as people turn from magazines to the Internet for free pictures of naked women and pornography.
As recently as 1999, its shares were trading at more than $30 before falling to less than $2 in early 2009 during the financial crisis.
The company has been changing its business to focus more on licensing the popular "Bunny Ears" logo, a white silhouette of a rabbit head with prominent ears and a bow tie.
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