Playboy Said to Be Shopping for a Buyer

CHICAGO — Is Playboy officially on the block?

Playboy officials would not confirm nor deny reports Friday to XBIZ that the company has placed a $300 million price tag on the company.

Earlier today, the New York Post reported that the company, which trades for $2.85 a share on the New York Stock Exchange, has been actively in sales talks since February.

If the rumor is true, Playboy is seeking a premium of more than $200 million given its market cap of around $88 million based on its share price.

The Post said that a number of companies, like Apollo Capital Partners and Providence Equity Partners, heard the sales pitch in recent months but haven't stepped up.

Even last week, some speculators mentioned that Virgin Media, which markets digital TV, broadband and mobile in the U.K., would make a bid for the 56-year-old company.

Sources told the Post that James Griffiths, a former president of the entertainment group, has been involved in the potential sales process.

But Playboy executive Martha Lindeman told XBIZ on Friday she could not elaborate on any sales talks.

"We aren’t going to have any further comment on our previous statements," she said.

Playboy's interim chairman and CEO, Jerome Kern, told investors in February that the company would be "willing to listen" about an outright sale of the company in a conference call.

The adult entertainment company has been under intense pressure and has been furiously cutting costs. In the most recent quarter, the company said it lost $13.7 million, compared with a loss of $4.2 million a year ago. Revenue shrunk to $61.6 million in the quarter from $78.5 million a year ago.