Chicago -- Playboy Enterprises Inc. founder and editor in
chief Hugh Hefner is planning to sell 2 million shares of company stock, adding nearly $50
million to his wallet.
Hefner registered the 2 million class B shares April 9. The
sale would reduce his class B holdings to about 6 million shares, or 32.5 percent, from
around 8 million shares, or 44.6 percent.
Hefner still holds 3,321,836 class A voting shares, or 69.9
percent, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the filing, Hefner plans to sell the shares
for $23.56 each, or a total of about $47.1 million. Playboy's stock, which is traded
on the New York Stock Exchange, closed at $26.88 per share last Tuesday.
Hefner, 73, formed Playboy in 1953. Since then, the company
has added pay-per-view television programming, catalog sales, home-video production and
electronic commerce to the magazine mix.
Playboy recently expanded its adult PPV reach last month,
closing a deal to buy Spice Entertainment Cos. Playboy now reaches 19 million of 23
million adult viewing homes in the country.
Spice will not be reflected in the company's
first-quarter financial results, which are expected to be below the previous year's
Playboy said it expects to report a quarterly operating
loss, versus a $60,000 profit a year ago. The company blamed continued losses in online
and catalog businesses and increased marketing expenses.
Operating income and cash flow improved, though.