Nearly one year after Hugh Hefner’s death in September 2017 the family is waving goodbye to the company founded by the legendary publisher. The remaining shares the family owned were sold to Icon Acquisitions Holdings LLC.
The sale of the family’s shares for $35 million put an end to the family’s financial involvement with the once dominating force in adult entertainment. The bunny company has lived through a three-decade-long decline and just recently it was rumored that the Playboy magazine itself might shut down.
Icon Acquisition Holdings LLC was already invested in the Playboy group and the acquisition will increase its stake in the iconic company. The move might indicate confidence that at least for a strategic investor the brand is not at the end of the line. It might also be the beginning of the final dismantling of the group.
According to reports about the deal Icon Acqusitions will first pay $15 million for 800,000 shares of Playboy. The remaining 1 million shares owned by the family will be put into escrow. Basically, Playboy will pay for the acquisition of these shares through a loan of $20 million, a move indicating that Icon Acquistions has no plan of investing into the company and instead will probably drain the already suffering business.
Proceeds of the deal will be distributed among Hugh Hefner’s children and his widow, Crystal Hefner. Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner who is working for Playboy as chief creative officer will remain with the company but he will not own any stakes in his father’s influential brainchild.
Playboy was founded in 1953 and quickly became a powerful cultural influence, an important part in civil rights movements and sexual liberation worldwide. Hugh Hefner, famous for his lifestyle, his intellectual curiosity and at the end for his red bathrobe died last year at 91 at his Playboy Mansion where he was allowed to live for the rest of his life when he sold it several years ago.