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Golden Gate Capital denies interest in Playboy

November 16, 2009 |  5:51 pm

One of the bunny's bidders appears to have lost his backer.

Private equity firm Golden Gate Capital issued a statement today saying that it "is not and will not be involved in any way with any potential acquisition of Playboy Enterprises Inc."

PLAYBOYlogo Last week, a person familiar with the situation said that Golden Gate Capital was working with former Playboy Entertainment President Jim Griffiths on a bid for the troubled company, which has been struggling to rebuild its once iconic brand in the midst of difficulties in the publishing, pay television and online "adult content" industries.

Its major competitor, the person said, was brand management firm Iconix, whose holdings include apparel labels Joe Boxer and London Fog.

It remains to be seen whether Griffiths, who could not be reached for comment, will continue his bid without Golden Gate, which was providing most of his financial backing. There has also been no public indication as to whether Playboy will sell itself to Iconix or remain under the control of founder Hugh Hefner.

-- Ben Fritz