Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner is taking back the bunny after months of negotiations.
Playboy Enterprises Inc., the iconic magazine publisher known for its bunny ears and centerfold photo spreads of naked women, plans to go private in a deal that values the company at $207 million.
The deal, which Playboy announced Monday, means that Hefner, 84, would co-own the publishing company that he founded in 1953 with the first issue of Playboy magazine, featuring a partially nude photograph of Marilyn Monroe.
Icon Acquisition Holdings LP, which Hefner controls, plans to buy Playboy's shares along with Rizvi Traverse Management LLC. Playboy has about $115 million in debt.
Hefner owns about 70 percent of Playboy's Class A common stock and 28 percent of its Class B stock. He and another large shareholder,
Plainfield Asset Management, plan to transfer their shares in the deal.
Icon is offering shareholders $6.15 per share, higher than an earlier offer and a premium of about 18 percent to Friday's closing price.
In July, Hefner made his first offer to buy the company at $5.50 per share. FriendFinder Networks, owner of Penthouse magazine, offered $6.25 per share.
Playboy has been struggling with circulation and advertising revenue declines as people use the Internet to search for free pictures of nude women and pornography.
Chief Executive Scott Flanders will remain at the company and keep a "significant equity investment" in Playboy, the company said.
Playboy shares were trading up 92 cents at $6.12 on the New York Stock Exchange before the opening bell Monday.
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