Months after killing its iconic nudie journal, Playboy Enterprises is eyeing a return to the stock market, The Submit has realized.
The corporate based by Hugh Hefner 66 years in the past has been speaking to so-called blank-check corporations about an funding to fund its push into sexual wellness merchandise, spirits and hashish, sources instructed The Submit.
The talks, which Reuters first reported on Friday, might pave the best way for Playboy return to promote stock to the general public once more — 9 years after it went personal in a $207 million deal led by Hefner and personal fairness agency Rizvi Traverse Administration. Clean-check corporations, often known as particular acquisition autos or SPACs, go public to lift cash to purchase corporations that then take over that ticker image, subverting the normal IPO course of.
Among the many SPACs Playboy’s bankers have reached out to is Mountain Crest, which has raised about $50 million and is led by Dr. Suying Liu, head of company strategist at Hudson Capital, a monetary companies agency primarily based in Beijing.
After all, any SPAC that invests in Playboy could be shopping for a really totally different model than the one run by Hefner, who died in 2017 on the age of 91. His famed Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles has since been cut up into parcels of land. And his youngest son, Cooper Hefner, exited the enterprise final 12 months.
However the largest blow got here in March when Playboy’s CEO Ben Kohn stated the corporate would cease printing its flagship journal, which first turned heads in 1953 with a nude Marilyn Monroe.
Playboy remains to be a media firm with an internet site that carries articles on intercourse and race and, in fact, pics of bare girls. However a lot of the corporate’s focus is now on gross sales of Playboy-branded merchandise, together with a cannabis-centric line of intercourse gels and sprays referred to as “CBD by Playboy,” in addition to face masks dotted with the Playboy bunny brand.
The model remains to be massive in nations like China, however has been dropping momentum within the US for awhile now. As The Submit has beforehand reported, the journal’s gross sales had been struggling nicely earlier than the coronavirus introduced it to its knees in March. And efforts to revive a Playboy Membership on the Cachet Lodge on West 42 Street ended final 12 months after only one 12 months.
Playboy CEO Kohn, the top of Rizvi Traverse, didn’t instantly return a name in search of remark. Mountain Crest’s Liu couldn’t be reached.
Playboy’s fundraising efforts come as SPACs have more cash to burn then ever. Of the 329 SPACs that went public within the final ten years, 103 of them got here to be in 2020, elevating $40 billion to go trying to find mergers, in keeping with when SPACInsider.