Private is not a word one would ordinarily associate with Hugh Hefner, whose life has always been an open magazine, with a foldout in the middle. But the octogenarian founder and personification of Playboy Enterprises is taking his likewise aging empire of clubs and resorts private with financing from private equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management and investment bank Jefferies.
Despite Playboys dwindling readership and tough competition from raunchier publications and the anything-goes Internet, Hefner will remain editor-in-chief. Ben Kohn, managing director of Rizvi, proclaims that he is pleased to be teaming up with the author of the Playboy philosophy as the legendary brand enters a new chapter. Nevertheless, Kohn will want to be paid back in more than prurient interest.