The New York Post's magazine columnist Keith Kelly reports that the Playboy empire "is quietly being shopped around for $300 million," but there haven't yet been any takers. If Kelly's report (based on his industry sources) is true, then earlier suggestions that all that sale talk wasn't real was itself not real.
Playboy Enterprises Inc. interim Chair/CEO Jerome Kern hasn't, of course, contacted me to buy the company (an oversight, I'm sure) (though, come to think of it, he also didn't contact me about the search for a permanent replacement for former Chair/CEO Christie Hefner; hmmmm...), but there's got to be a buyer out there somewhere for this. (Remember all the interest in acquiring Penthouse from bankruptcy, and that company was a basket case? Playboy's not.) My guess is that the challenge will be finding a buyer or investor who can work the ownership and editorial needs of Hugh Hefner, who still owns most of the voting shares (and whom Kelly says recently lamented taking his company public in the 1970s as his biggest regret).
Update: Playboy spokesperson denies the company's being shopped around, according to Crain's Chicago Business. So are Keith Kelly's sources full of hot air or is Playboy trying to keep it ultra-quiet?