In 1953, Hugh Hefner borrowed $1,000 from his mother and launched Playboy magazine. In 2018, the Hefner family’s interest in the company will come to a close.
The Hefner estate has sold its shares of the company, representing an interest of roughly 33%, for $35 million, according to entertainment news site The Blast. The money will be split between Hefner’s widow and four children.
Hefner died in September 2017. With his death, the changes to his business legacy came quickly. The Playboy Mansion, which was pseudonymous with the company’s reputation, became the property of neighbor Daren Metropoulos, who bought the estate in August 2016 for $100 million. (Metropoulos reportedly struck a deal with Los Angeles officials that will permanently protect it from demolition, even from future owners.) The company also deactivated its Facebook page after the Cambridge Analytical scandal. And there are whispers the flagship magazine might be on the chopping block.
The sale of the Hefner family’s holdings will reportedly take place in two parts: 800,000 shares for $15 million immediately. The remaining $1 million will be held in escrow until they’re paid off with a $20 million loan. Icon Acquisition Holdings, which owns the company’s other shares, is the buyer. It has held a controlling stake in Playboy since 2011.
Hefner’s son Cooper will continue to work for the company as chief creative officer, making him the family’s last tie with the magazine that made them a household name.