Delaware judge approves settlement in lawsuit over Playboy buyout by Hefner

DOVER, Del. – A Delaware judge has approved the settlement of a class-action lawsuit over Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner’s successful bid to take the company private.

In the settlement approved Tuesday, shareholders of Playboy Enterprises Inc. agreed to accept $5.25 million in cash in return for dropping the lawsuit. After attorney fees and expenses, they’ll receive about $4 million, or 17 cents per share.

Hefner proposed the buyout in 2010, offering $5.50 a share for the roughly 30 per cent of Playboy’s outstanding voting shares he didn’t own.

Shareholders sued, claiming the price was too low and that they weren’t given enough information about the deal.

Hefner, backed by a private investment firm Rizvi Traverse, later upped the bid to $6.15 a share, an 18 per cent premium over the previous day’s closing price.