It's been months since Hugh Hefner launched a buyout bid for the Playboy empire, only to be outbid by the owners of Penthouse. Hefner's in precarious position: he controls the company. But his bid sucks. And he needs cash, bad.
Playboy's latest financial results, reported yesterday, make the problem clear: $115 million in bond payments come due in early 2012, and the company currently has less than $30 million on hand, and not enough cash flow to make up the difference. So, although Hef himself controls enough of the company to do whatever he wants, his investors wouldn't look too kindly on a decision to accept a lower buyout bid from himself at a time when they don't even know if he'll be able to pay them what he owes. The NYP quotes one Wall Street analyst who suggests a nuclear option:
Sell the Playboy Mansion? In order to not sell the entire company? If you sell the Playboy Mansion you might as well sell the entire company. That's clearly the most fun part. The rest is just stupid pictures.