Business

Playboy is going public

Posted October 1, 2020 9:20 a.m. EDT

— Now you can buy Playboy and you don't have to hide it from your mom.

The lifestyle brand announced Thursday its intention of becoming a publicly traded company after a nearly 10-year absence from the stock market. But in a very 2020 move, Playboy is merging with Mountain Crest Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in a $415 million deal. It will eventually trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol "PLBY."

Playboy describes itself as "one of the largest and most recognizable lifestyle brands in the world," selling a variety of items ranging from sexual wellness products, branded clothes and even a home goods line. Notably missing is its once-influential magazine, which ceased publishing in February following a 66-year run.

"Playboy today is a highly profitable commerce business with a total addressable market projected in the trillions of dollars," said CEO Ben Kohn in a statement. He will continue to lead the company.

It's the latest company to use a SPAC to go public, joining Virgin Galactic, sports gambling company DraftKings and Lordstown electric truck rival Nikola.

Plenty of private companies would rather merge with a blank-check firm than go through the time-consuming and expensive process of raising money through a more traditional initial public offering. That's especially the case during the coronavirus pandemic.

Covid-19 has accelerated this method because there's "less uncertainty and a faster time to close deals," Bob Blee, head of corporate finance at Silicon Valley Bank, previously told CNN Business.

--CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica contributed to this report.

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