Will Richard Branson Buy Playboy?
Can Richard Branson be the new Hugh Hefner? Rumors are flying that the VIrgin Media tycoon is interested in the Playboy empire. The company has been allegedly shopped around for $300 million even though the market value is perceived to less than $100 million. Part of the reason for wide difference in figures is because the company wants to make sure that any deal will help Playboy's 83-year-old founder maintain his lavish lifestyle. Although one of Hugh Hefner's homes is on the market for nearly $28 million there is still main Playboy mansion and its tremendous upkeep to consider. He remains the editor of Playboy magazine and has said he wants to pass down his interest in the company to his teenage sons Marston and Cooper.
While Hefner's lifestyle has burdened the company his public recognition has also been a major part of keeping interest in Playboy Enterprises. The good thing about Branson in charge versus some faceless equity company is that you would have another charismatic man at the helm. Branson also excels at using his lifestyle and his appearances to further his businesses and he also has a wide variety of businesses which could partner with Playboy.
UPDATE: Looks like the Playboy/Virgin empire will forever exist only in our minds.