Playboy is joining the super-hot special acquisition company club, with official plans to go public in a SPAC deal that values the storied brand at $415 million, the company said Thursday.
The SPAC deal, which will make the iconic adult-entertainment brand public for the second time in its history, involves being acquired by a blank-check firm, in this case Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp. (MCAC) , which was set up earlier this year and trades on the Nasdaq exchange.
As part of the deal, Playboy will receive $58 million that Mountain Crest had raised, plus another $50 million in private investment in public equity, or PIPE, proceeds brought in from institutional investors.
Playboy’s existing owners will retain control of 66% of the company following the transaction. When the deal is approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 60 to 90 days, the company name will become Playboy and it will trade under the ticker “PLBY.”
Playboy is the latest among a growing roster of firms to join the SPAC craze. Other companies to go public via blank-check companies recently include Virgin Galactic Holdings and sports-betting company DraftKings (DKNG) - Get Draftkings, Inc. (DKNG) Report.
United Wholesale Mortgage joined the SPAC club on Wednesday, announcing it will go public by merging with a blank-check company, Gores Holdings IV, in a transaction that values the lender at roughly $16.1 billion.
Playboy CEO Ben Kohn said the deal with Mountain Crest will put more than $100 million in unrestricted cash on the company’s balance sheet, allowing it to expand further into e-commerce and the lingerie and intimate-accessories space.
Founded by famed playboy Hugh Hefner, the first issue of Playboy magazine appeared in December 1953 with Marilyn Monroe on the cover. The company was taken private in 2011 by Hefner and private-equity firm Rizvi Traverse.
Hefner died in 2017 at age 91. The Hefner family sold its 35% stake in the company to Rizvi Traverse in 2018 for $35 million.
Under its mission of "Pleasure for All," the 66-year-old Playboy brand drives more than $3 billion in annual sales at retail across 180 countries, according to the company.
Shares of Mountain Crest Acquisition ended the trading day Wednesday at $10.17. The stock was up 0.49% at $10.20 in trading on Thursday.