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Playboy to Become a Publicly Traded Company Again

The company was taken private in 2011 by late founder Hugh Hefner, but is merging with Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp.

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. is merging with publicly traded special purpose acquisition corporation Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp. to return Playboy to the public markets, the companies announced Thursday.

Playboy was taken private in 2011 by founder Hugh Hefner.

When the transaction is closed and approved by the SEC, Mountain Crest will be renamed and will remain listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market under ticker PLBY. Playboy CEO Ben Kohn will still lead the company.

The company has set the timetable for 60-90 days.

Playboy and Mountain Crest announced definitive investor purchase agreements for the purchase of $50 million of common stock at $10 per share.

Kohn called Thursday “a very big day” in a statement, adding, “I stepped into the CEO role at Playboy in 2017 because I saw the biggest opportunity of my career. Playboy is a brand and platform that could not be replicated today. It has massive global reach, with more than $3B of global consumer spend and products sold in over 180 countries. Our mission – to create a culture where all people can pursue pleasure – is rooted in our 67-year history and creates a clear focus for our business and role we play in people’s lives, providing them with the products, services and experiences that create a lifestyle of pleasure. We are taking this step into the public markets because the committed capital will enable us to accelerate our product development and go-to-market strategies and to more rapidly build our direct to consumer capabilities.

He went on to highlight Playboy’s focus on “selling into the Sexual Wellness consumer category,” which he noted is projected to be around $400 billion in size by 2024. Thursday’s release noted that Playboy reaches consumers in four major categories, Sexual Wellness being just one. The others are Style & Apparel, Gaming & Lifestyle and Beauty & Grooming.

In May, Playboy laid off 25 staffers, including most of its editorial team.