LOS ANGELES — Industry icon Kelly Holland today told XBIZ that she has acquired the assets of Penthouse Entertainment from FriendFinder Networks.
Holland joined Penthouse in 2006 and, as president of its entertainment unit, she created the Penthouse Broadcast division. Today, with 10 channels in more than 100 countries Penthouse Television has become a global leader in adult broadcasting.
Six years later, in 2012, Holland took over leadership of additional divisions — Penthouse publishing, licensing and its clubs unit. Under Holland’s direction the Penthouse clubs division has expanded to 17 clubs worldwide.
Holland, who last month spoke at length about the Penthouse brand last month at the XBIZ Show during a keynote address, signed off on ownership just yesterday.
Colin Rowntree, operator of Wasteland and Boodigo, told XBIZ that negotiations over the purchase, which hasn't been disclosed, "have been going on for many months and it's been pretty complex."
"If anyone can infuse life back into that legacy historic brand, she can," he said. "One of the notable things in this is, to my knowledge, Kelly Holland is the first woman to solely own a large-scale mainstream men's magazine and media distribution network. Earlier on was Gloria Leonard (High Society) who was the senior publisher there for many years, but not the owner."
FriendFinder Networks in a statement said that the transaction was unanimously approved by board of directors.
"Although with this sale of Penthouse, FriendFinder is exiting the content creation business, we are confident that PGMI is seriously committed to advancing its substantial legacy," said Jonathan Buckheit, CEO of FriendFinder Networks.
"This is the right move for all involved as we leverage our core strengths in recognition of changing times and new strategies for growth. Parting with our content operations was a strategic decision, and it allows FriendFinder to focus on content sharing and what we’ve created in the world's largest network of online personal interaction and dating sites."
FriendFinder Networks said it has established an “ongoing business partnership with Penthouse to enable its models to continue to appear on FriendFinder's industry-leading Cams.com interactive video platform.”
The company said the sale aligns with FriendFinder Networks’ "tailored focus on improving its current platforms" such as AdultFriendFinder.com, Alt.com, Cams.com and its network of international and niche dating sites, including FriendFinder.com, AsiaFriendFinder.com, BigChurch.com, MillionaireMate.com, FilipinoFriendFinder.com and SeniorFriendFinder.com.