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Playboy, which is headquartered in Chicago, described Hefner’s offer letter as a proposal and said there was no guarantee it would get any formal bid from Hefner. But if it does, the board of directors will form a special committee to consider the bid.

At the end of April Playboy had 33.6 million shares of stock, of which Hefner owns more than 4 million shares in two stock classes.

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Andrew Vanacore reported from New York.