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SHOW TIME: It’s been nearly three days since FriendFinder Networks Inc. promised to make an offer for Playboy Enterprises Inc. Anyone who’s passed the time checking and rechecking the mailbox for details won’t have to wait much longer. The Penthouse magazine parent said Wednesday it will give its bid the full reveal shortly after noon today. FriendFinder chief executive officer Marc Bell wouldn’t divulge details of his firm’s plan when he spoke to WWD on Monday, but did say he thought that founder Hugh Hefner’s current offer to take Playboy private at $5.50 a share undervalued the company.
Hefner, for his part, has spent the week digging his slippered heels into the carpet ahead of the counter. His favored forum has been Twitter, where’s he’s both explained his own intentions and critiqued FriendFinder’s. “Penthouse is just looking for publicity,” the 84-year-old wrote in one post. “They’re not in the picture.” In another entry he offered: “My interest in taking Playboy private is prompting some crazy rumors. Playboy isn’t in play. I’m buying, not selling.” By Wednesday afternoon, though, Hefner’s feed was back to dispatches his fellow octogenarians could perhaps better relate to: “I’m going for my annual dental checkup today. Our weekly gin game has been switched from Wednesday to Thursday this week.”
— Matthew Lynch