Bidders have Playboy bunny in their sights

NEW YORK - Playboy Enterprises, the company famous for its bunny ear logo and libidinous owner Hugh Hefner, is in talks with potential buyers including the licensing firm Iconix.

Playboy Enterprises owns the famous girlie magazine after which it is named. It produces content for websites and adult television services, clothing, and also operates a chain of stores.

The company refused to comment on reports that it had been in talks about an acquisition by Iconix, which owns the license to Jay-Z's clothing range Rocawear, as well as the iconic US raincoat brand London Fog.

The Los Angeles Times reports that there is a second bidder in the frame, headed by Playboy's former entertainment president Jim Griffiths. The newspaper says that a deal could be worth as much as $300m (£180m).

Reports of a potential buyer come a week after the company revealed a $14m drop in revenue for the third quarter, on the back of lower income from its international TV channels and magazines.

Although Playboy Enterprises is a publicly listed company, it is ultimately Hefner's decision whether or not to sell.

The 83-year-old founder retains a majority ownership of the company as well as the title of chief creative officer at Playboy Enterprises and editor-in-chief of the magazine.

Until January of this year the company was run by his daughter Christie, but she stepped down to focus on charity work. The chief executive is now Scott Flanders.