Penthouse to Launch Spanish Language Magazine, Resort

Jeff Berg
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — With new management seeking to broaden the readership and business opportunities of Penthouse magazine, the next big leap for the formerly bankrupt magazine might be south of the border.

Statements released Monday indicate that Penthouse will be branching into a Spanish language version of the magazine in 2004 and a Penthouse brand resort in Mexico sometime in 2005.

“The Hispanic market is regarded as one of the fastest growing demographics in North America,” said Claude Bertin, executive vice president of PHSL Worldwide. “The Republic of Mexico has a population of approximately 100 million. Many United States companies have established operation in Mexico in recent years.”

In order to help out with the new publication, Penthouse has brought a former editor-in-chief of Playboy Mexico on staff.

According to prospective business plans, PHSL Worldwide, Louis Enrique Fernando Molina’s holding company which lost control of Penthouse publisher General Media during bankruptcy proceedings, intends to enter into an agreement to become the largest single shareholder of Care Concepts' stock when the online auction site completes its acquisition of payment processor iBill.

Because Care Concepts recently acquired roughly 40 percent of the stock in General Media, this would effectively mean that PHSL Worldwide would still be a major equity owner of the magazine.

The announcement comes following several stormy months for Care Concepts, which was forced to delay its acquisition of iBill after the American Stock Exchange delisted Care Concepts stock for a variety of public-interest concerns related to the transaction.