“If I sold it, my life would be over.”
That’s what Hugh Hefner, the 84-year-old velvet-robe-wearing founder of Playboy, told a reporter for The New York Times last year about the magazine empire he started in 1953.
Playboy has struggled mightily in recent years in the face of competition from the Internet, but while generational tastes may have shifted, Mr. Hefner still hasn’t lost his love for blondes — or his magazine.
That perhaps helps explain why Mr. Hefner announced last week that he had made a bid to acquire all the stock of Playboy Enterprises that he doesn’t already own.
In a letter to Playboy’s board — of which he is not a member — Mr. Hefner disclosed his bid of $185 million. But he also made something else plain: “I am not interested in any sale or merger of the company, selling my shares to any third party or entering into discussions with any other financial sponsor for a transaction of the nature proposed in this letter.”
In other words, Mr. Hefner is only interested in selling his bunnies to himself.
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