Moody’s gives Playboy corporate debt a B2 rating

By Associated Press
Posted Feb. 11 at 5:10 p.m.

The corporate debt rating for Playboy Enterprises Inc. was set Friday at “B2″, a speculative or junk rating, by Moody’s Investors Service.

The same rating was placed on $195 million worth of senior secured credit facilities. A “B3″ probability of default rating was issued.

The ratings were established in connection with the buyout of the Chicago company by a partnership headed by founder Hugh Hefner.

Hefner is Playboy’s largest shareholder with about 70 percent of Playboy Enterprises Inc.’s voting shares and 28 percent of the nonvoting stock. By leading a buyout, the 84-year-old Hefner is taking the company private.

The buyout is funded with $195 million of senior secured credit facilities, which include a $185 million term loan due 2017 and a $10 million revolving credit line due 2016. Also, $185 million is funded by Los Angeles private investment firm Rizvi Traverse and management, including Hefner.

Under the deal, Rizvi Traverse will own about 60 percent of the company, Hefner about 37 percent and other executive management 3 percent. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the first quarter.

The outlook for the company is “Stable.”

Moody’s analysts said the “B2″ corporate family rating reflects the company’s high debt-to-asset ratio and the challenges it faces regaining profitability.

The printed Playboy magazine has struggled with rivals from the Web and has lost both readers and advertisers. In November, the company reported a wider third-quarter loss than a year ago as its revenue fell 7 percent to $52.1 million.

Moody’s analysts said they expect the company to improve financial performance over the next 12 to 18 months based on multiyear contracts.

The analysts said they believe the company, under new ownership, will be successful in increasing earnings and entering new license and other business deals that will generate stable and higher revenue.

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One comment:

  1. Bill Paier Feb. 12 at 8:35 a.m.

    But I only read it for the articles, honey!