FriendFinder Raises $551 Million, Preparing for 3 'Big Initiatives'

BOCA RATON — FriendFinder Networks Inc., owner of Penthouse magazine and numerous adult and social networking sites has reportedly raised $551 million in debt financing.

Although no details were revealed, FriendFinder CEO Marc Bell said he is preparing for “three big initiatives.”

Last July, the company bid $210 million for Playboy Enterprises only days after Playboy founder Hugh Hefner offered $5.50 per share ($185 million) for the stock to take his company private.

At the time of the offering Bell said, "We believe that together we can create a 21st century media powerhouse and generate tremendous synergies through the combination of Playboy’s iconic brands and licensing engine with the Penthouse brands and the demonstrated technological innovations of FriendFinder Networks."

Playboy recently announced that a special panel was formed to review Hefner’s original proposal but it’s unclear if the FriendFinder bid to buy the company is still on the table.

FriendFinder indefinitely pulled its own $240 million IPO plans earlier this year citing poor market conditions.

According to SEC filings, as of Sept. 30, FriendFinder was carrying $470 million in debt. Bell said that the company will generate about $345 million in revenue with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $100 million this year.

Commenting on the new financing, Bell said, "We're always looking to raise capital to grow the business."