Playboy loses its pyjama-wearing boss: The Hef

By | septiembre 28, 2017
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Put away the bunny ears, the pipe and hang up the red silk pyjamas, as the man who put skin into the magazine world, Hugh Hefner,  has left his mansion for the last time.

The Hef started the Playboy business in 1953 as the HMH Publishing Co for the purpose of publishing the Playboy magazine – the one everybody bought “for the articles”. Ironically one of its best sellers contained the last interview with John Lennon, when people really did buy it for the articles.


Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies at 91

A pop culture icon and founder of the Playboy magazine has peacefully passed away at his home.

The business quickly expanded and began to develop and distribute a wider range of adult entertainment. It went public in 1971. Hefner’s daughter, Christie, ran the business, under the watchful eye of her father from 1988 to 2009, but had been an advocate of less flesh. To boost sales, the magazine entered China in 2016 and the last nude centrefold was in March last year.

Despite the television shows and vast property assets, Playboy was also stung by the rise of digital media. Its majority owners, private equity group Rizvi Traverse and former CEO Scott Flanders, approached its bankers Moelis & Co to seek out a buyer, valuing it at $US500 million.

When no sale happened, Flanders left and now Hefner’s 25-year-old son Cooper is the chief creative officer and, as an outspoken critic of the no-nudes policy, has as of March this year reinstated the nudies.

CBD can only wonder what sort of party there will be at the fading Playboy mansion to see off the former octogenarian tenant.

Solly rumbles

If only Christine Holgate’s Aussie Post was listed. 
What with the same-sex marriage postal survey and now Premier Investment’s Solly Lew looking to do a mail out to the 823,000-plus Myer shareholders, imagine what all those stamps are worth.

Of course, the federal government is paying for the SSM mailout but it owns Aussie Post, and its posties have to handle the sorting side of the vote.

Lew, who took aim at his old alma mater Myer on Monday saying it was a basket case, threw the market into a spin two days later when he asked the ASX for  the department chain’s massive share register. 

That saw Myer, which CBD’s trading desk spies say is a heavily shorted stock, rise to a high of 80 cents! Almost recommended retail price (RRP), something not many retailers see these days.

Talk is Lew is doing a mailout to the holders to drum up support to oust the Myer management.

Talk is Lew is doing a mailout to the holders to drum up support to oust the Myer management.

The retail doyen is no stranger to these “Guerrilla” like tactics.

It was in 1993 when Lew, who had been a director of the retail behemoth for 17 years, introduced the shareholder discount card. But it was shut down by the then CEO John Fletcher in March 2002 saying it cost way too much. At that time there was about 560,000 investors and the cost of mailing out hard copies of annual reports was mounting.

But in that same year, Lew opened his campaign for re-election to the Coles Myer board by vowing to reinstate the card.

In his election speech he said he was committed to its reintroduction, as it’s “good for shareholders and good for business”.

At the time Lew was battling a move by eight of the other nine directors to vote him off the board at the company’s AGM on November 20, 2002.

But the very popular discount card scheme had been blamed for the under-representation of institutional shareholders on the retailer’s register, with mum and dad investors numbering 580,000, or 38 per cent, by 2001.

The card was available to any shareholder with 500 and 1000 shares. That saw an avalanche of investors, known then as Solly’s army. 

The card was scrapped in 2005, but it seems he’s again appealing to the flock to get his way!

No fools

Company analysts don’t always have their followers laughing in the aisles or slapping their knees, with their reports containing pages of boring disclosures, pointy charts with lines, dots and other features, and more numbers than can be absorbed by a calculator.

Although it must be said that they can deliver an occasional graphic to give Barry Jones’s famous “Noodle Nation” achievement from 2001 a run for its money.

So hats off to the humourists from Morgan Stanley, for their fine work at the beginning of a note on Australian Utilities published on Thursday.

“CSG to GSG for GPG not LNG under the ADGSM,” screamed the acronym-laden headline.

Although at least it was a truly balanced portfolio, containing 50 per cent acronyms, and 50 per cent words.

Who would have thought a report observing that “Queensland spot gas prices are steady,” as well as this gem, “Exhibit 5: Pool prices have steadied and remain in backwardation,” could deliver such mirth?

CBD can’t wait for the next instalment from the funsters over at Morgan Stanley. They’ve set the bar high.

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