CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – Hugh Hefner has reportedly decided to take back control of Playboy, the company he founded over half a century ago.
As WBBM Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports, Playboy Enterprises has entered into an agreement with a limited partnership controlled by Hefner. The partnership will pay $6.15 per share to take the company private.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger Reports
The share price is a more than 18 percent premium over Playboy’s closing price this past Friday, and 56 percent more than the closing price in July before the proposal was first announced.
In a statement, Hefner said with this deal, the company he founded 57 years ago will come full-circle, returning to its roots as a private firm. He says the move will give the company flexibility to restore Playboy to its unique position, and to expand business around the world.
Current Playboy chief executive officer Scott Flanders will stay on as head of the company.
Hefner founded Playboy in Chicago in 1953, and produced the first issue in the kitchen of his Hyde Park neighborhood home. Hefner went on to turn the publication and its nude models and centerfolds into a cultural mainstay.
In addition to its namesake magazine, the Playboy empire also includes the Playboy TV and Spice cable channels, several Playboy Web sites, and other divisions. The company also once ran 40 Playboy Clubs, including the original club at 116 E. Walton St. But the only Playboy Club now in business is at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Playboy is headquartered at 680 N. Lake Shore Dr. in Chicago.