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Sep 7, 2010
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Playboy board hires advisers to weigh Hefner bid

Sep 7, 2010

(Reuters) - The Playboy Enterprises Inc (PLA.N) special board committee tapped to evaluate Hugh Hefner's offer to take the company private said on Tuesday it retained Raine Securities LLC and Kaye Scholer LLP as its financial and legal advisors, respectively.

Hugh Hefner with his Playboy girlfriends. Photo : Corbis

The committee of board directors was formed in early August to weigh Hefner's bid to buy all the company's shares he does not currently own for $5.50 per share in cash, valuing Playboy at $185 million.

Hefner, who founded the company synonymous with bunny ears and centerfolds, owns around 70 percent of Playboy's Class A common stock and 28 percent of its Class B stock.

The committee said that no decision has been made regarding Hefner's proposal.

Hefner made the offer on July 9, setting off a bidding war for Playboy that involves its competitor, Penthouse magazine. The owner of Penthouse, FriendFinder Networks upped Hefner's bid to $6.25 per share.

It is unclear whether the committee is evaluating the FriendFinder's proposal. A spokeswoman for Playboy did not comment.

The offers come as Playboy tries to capitalize on its bunny ears logo by signing licensing deals with clothing makers, casinos and clubs as it moves away from its reliance on print advertising from its magazine.

Shares of Playboy are up about 35 percent during the past three months.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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