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Penthouse trumps Hef's bid for 'Playboy'

The parent company of Penthouse magazine yesterday tabled a bid to acquire its rival Playboy for $210m (£138m), trumping an $184m offer from the Playboy empire's octogenerian founder Hugh Hefner.

Friend Finder said its offer represented the best deal for the Playboy brand to grow. On Monday, Mr Hefner, 84, bid for the 72 per cent of non-voting shares in Playboy he does not own. He has a majority of the voting shares, however, and earlier this week dismissed the threat of a bid from Penthouse, saying: "I'm buying, not selling."

Penthouse suggested Mr Hefner would stay on at the company: "We envision that following the completion of the proposed transaction, Mr Hefner would retain editorial control of Playboy magazine and would be entitled to reside in the Playboy Mansion."

FriendFinder's chief executive, Marc Bell, said: "We are very excited about the prospect for the combination of Playboy and FriendFinder. We look forward to Mr Hefner and other key members of management being an integral part of the combined companies."