July 11, 2000 09:15am
TheStandard.com X-Rated IPOs Are Latecomers
Source: The Industry Standard
by: Deborah Asbrand
Playboy.com's looming IPO is a story that's been hanging around seemingly forever. Playboy Enterprises jumped into the dot-com fray with its IPO announcement last September. It followed in January with a Securities and Exchange Commision filing.
When the company will enter this woozy market is anyone's guess, but, if nothing else, Playboy's play offers a handy cover teaser for the current issue of eCompany.
Scott McMurray's take on Playboy's dot-com prospects is no can of whipped cream. His balanced coverage credited Playboy.com for riding the thriving online porn biz and signing a hip CEO. But McMurray sees Playboy.com's balance sheet as having all the sustainability of a Viagra hit. First quarter revenues more than doubled, but much of the increase is due to folding in direct-market sales, he pointed out.
eCompany's choice gave us a reason to peruse Tycoon, whose spring issue still lingered on the shelf at our local Borders. What kind of investment advice does Tycoon offer? How to buy an island, for one thing. (Greece has bargains, but getting a building permit is tough.) Investing in porn, for another. Internet Entertainment Group, operator of the online Club Love, has been talking about going public for even longer than Playboy has. Teresa Talerico's profile of IEG's Seth Warshavsky leaves the decision of whether to invest to readers. But her take on Warshavsky – he's an ill-mannered neb paying college students $20 an hour to perform sex acts while geeks watch online – won't inspire confidence in IEG in the capital markets.
The mag doesn't report that the feds are investigating IEG for credit card fraud and income tax evasion. According to the article, the company's ex-CFO told investigators IEG's revenues were about $10 million per year, a fraction of the $45 million he had quoted to Tycoon. And you thought sex sold.