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Jun 30, 2021
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Playboy owner buys Honey Birdette, has 'multi-billion-dollar' ambition

Jun 30, 2021

High-end lingerie label Honey Birdette is to join Playboy owner’s PLBY Group portfolio with the “pleasure and leisure lifestyle company” having entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the Australia-based retailer for $333 million in cash and shares. It has ambitious plans to expand the label and it undeniably has the deep pockets to make its ambitions a reality.

Honey Birdette

Fifteen-year-old Honey Birdette has a thriving physical stores business in Australia and also operates stores in the UK, US and Europe, as well as international webstores.

PLBY said the purchase will expand its portfolio “with a new high-end franchise, and will provide PLBY Group with the product design, sourcing and direct-to-consumer capabilities that the company will leverage to accelerate the growth of its core apparel and sexual wellness businesses”.

PLBY CEO Ben Kohn said he thinks the brand has “potential to become a multi-billion-dollar luxury lifestyle franchise”. 

He added that the plan is to “to leverage PLBY Group and the Playboy brand’s global operations to accelerate Honey Birdette’s expansion into new territories and product categories, and to take advantage of Honey Birdette’s superior product design, sourcing and direct-to-consumer capabilities to accelerate our Playboy-branded lingerie, loungewear, swimwear, and sexual wellness go-to-market plans targeting the ‘masstige’ consumer”.

So what size of business will PLBY get for its $333 million? Honey Birdette generated revenue of around $73 million for the financial year ending this month, with EBITDA of around $28 million. 

Eloise Monaghan, Honey Birdette’s founder and MD, said: “When I founded [it], my ambition was to build a brand for women, by women; a brand that would serve as a platform for confidence and sexual and body empowerment. I am immensely proud of everything we’ve accomplished – with 60 thriving stores across three countries – powered by 350 fierce female ambassadors. Today is a momentous and proud day for the Honey Birdette team as we enter into partnership with one of the world’s most iconic brands and the lifestyle platform it represents.”

With its largest store chain being in its native Australia, the label is currently focused on expanding its retail footprint across the US, UK and Europe. In the US, new flagship stores will open in the coming months in Dallas, Miami and New York. 

It will also add product categories and is soon releasing new loungewear, swimwear and essentials collections.

The companies didn’t specifically say whether Monaghan will continue to be involved in the brand’s development, although there was no hint that she would now exit.

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