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Playboy to spend more than $300 million to buy a high-end Victoria's Secret rival

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2 min read
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As if it wasn't all in already on this view, Playboy (PLBY) is apparently reiterating one age-old mantra in business — sex sells. 

The sexual lifestyle company — fresh off its public debut via a SPAC transaction in February — is buying high-end lingerie and pleasure products maker Honey Birdette. The purchase price is $330 million in cash and stock, Playboy said in a release announcing the deal Tuesday morning. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.

Honey Birdette is Australia-based and founded in 2006. It currently has 60 stores globally, and recently opened a location in Las Vegas. Additional openings are expected soon in Dallas, Miami and New York City,.

The brand is nicely profitable on an operating profit basis and has "high margins." Honey Birdette loungewear, swimwear and essentials collections are on tap, the sources say. Playboy plans to leverage Honey Birdette's infrastructure to help build out its own branded lingerie taking direct aim at Victoria's Secret, among other synergies envisioned from the deal. 

The deal is poised to be the first major one by Playboy CEO Ben Kohn. 

Kohn joined Playboy as CEO in 2017. He has looked to reintroduce the brand to investors who may think it still makes glossy magazines featuring scantily clad women and sells them from inside the Playboy Mansion (billionaire Daren Metropoulos bought the Playboy Mansion in 2016 for $100 million). 

Instead, Playboy has sought to capitalize on its well-known brand by licensing it out for various consumer products such as apparel and personal care products. 

Playboy shares are up about 162% since debuting on the Nasdaq on Feb. 11

This story has been updated to reflect the announcement of the deal on June 29, 2021.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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