Playboy mansion bought by neighbour

The Playboy mansion was listed earlier this year for US$200 million (S$271 million).
The Playboy mansion was listed earlier this year for US$200 million (S$271 million).PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • The famed mansion of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner will be sold to his neighbour, Mr Daren Metropoulos, the billionaire owner of Twinkies.

The Gothic Tudor-style mansion, with an area of 1,858 sq m, was listed earlier this year for US$200 million (S$271 million).

Mr Metropoulos, who declined to disclose the purchase price, is a principal at private equity firm Metropoulos & Co, which co-owns Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, an iconic American snack.

"We can confirm that the Playboy mansion is in escrow with Daren Metropoulos as the buyer. Due to confidentiality restrictions, we are not able to comment on any specifics, including what contingencies need to be cleared to close the sale," a Playboy spokesman said in an e-mail.

As well as a tennis court, free-form swimming pool and other amenities, the estate is home to the Playboy grotto, which over the years was the setting for some of Mr Hefner's most lavish parties.

The mansion was built in 1927 and purchased by Playboy in 1971 for a reported US$1.1 million, a figure that property agents said then was the largest real estate transaction in Los Angeles.

The mansion became emblematic of Hollywood excess, hosting infamous pool parties with a lingerie-only dress code for the female guests who cavorted in the caved grotto.

Elvis Presley reportedly slept with eight Playmates at once in the 12-bedroom home, while former Beatle John Lennon once burned a Matisse original with a cigarette.

Mr Hefner, the 90-year-old owner of the estate in Holmby Hills and founder of Playboy Magazine, will be allowed to continue living there for the rest of his life.

Mr Metropoulos, 32, son of billionaire and private equity investor Dean Metropoulos, 70, hopes to connect both properties after Mr Hefner dies.

"He is pleased to continue to have Mr Hefner as his neighbour and feels fortunate and privileged for the opportunity to serve as a steward of this historic property," said a spokesman.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2016, with the headline 'Playboy mansion bought by neighbour'. Print Edition | Subscribe