Comeback planned: "Playboy" wants to go back to the New York Stock Exchange

Almost ten years after his departure, the "Playboy" group announces his return to Wall Street. The company is planning a merger with a special purpose vehicle for the IPO. The best-known product, "Playboy" magazine, is doing less well.

The "Playboy" corporation is preparing to return to the stock exchange. The company, which was founded in 1953 by the legendary publisher Hugh Hefner, who died in 2017 and is best known for the men's magazine of the same name, is to be brought to the New York Nasdaq under the ticker "PLBY", as the owners announced. This is to be done through the merger with an already listed special purpose vehicle, which will be renamed after the merger. "Playboy" is valued at 415 million dollars in the deal, currently around 353 million euros.

Hefner had taken his "Bunny" empire off the stock exchange in 2011 together with a holding company. Speculation about a sale had already existed in 2016 before the company's founder died at the age of 91. "Playboy" shaped the erotic business for decades with close-ups of naked women, the so-called "Playmates".

Crisis sales figures

But in view of the strong competition on the Internet, the magazine is striving to change its image. In March, in view of the falling sales figures, the makers announced that the US edition of the magazine will only appear digitally. In Germany, too, sales of the magazine fell by more than half within the last 10 years. "Playboy" is still available in print here.

However, there is much more to the group than just the magazine. "Playboy" is now marketed as a "lifestyle brand" with a wide range of products, from lingerie to video games to cosmetics. The legendary Playboy Mansion no longer belongs to the group. The huge property in the posh Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles, which was known for Hefner's lively parties and a playground for celebrity guests, changed hands in mid-2016 – according to the US media for around 100 million dollars.