- Associated Press - Monday, July 12, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) - Playboy Enterprises says its iconic founder is offering to buy the remaining shares of his media empire in a deal that would take the company private.

Hugh Hefner founded Playboy magazine in 1953 and turned the publication and its scantily clad models into a cultural mainstay, but the company has struggled in recent years.

Hefner plans to team up with private equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management LLC to buy the shares Hefner doesn’t already own for $5.50 each.

Shares rose $1.31, or 33 percent, to $5.25 in premarket trading.

Playboy Enterprises Inc., based in Chicago, said its board of directors formed a special committee to consider the proposal.

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