The Playboy Mansion, the legendary party house where Hollywood's elite cavorted with scantily-clad "bunnies," is being sold to the billionaire Twinkies owner who lives next door, a spokesman said Monday.
- 90-year-old Hugh Hefner will continue to live in the mansion till he dies
- New owner, who lives next door, plans to eventually merge the two estates
- Purchase price not made public, though estate was valued at $200 million
Hugh Hefner, the 90-year-old owner of the Holmby Hills estate in southern California and founder of Playboy Magazine, will be permitted to continue living there for the rest of his life.
The buyer is Daren Metropoulos, a 32-year-old business tycoon who lives on the property next door to the mansion, which he bought from Hefner in 2009 for $18 million.
"We can confirm that the Playboy Mansion is in escrow with Daren Metropoulos as the buyer," a Playboy spokesman told AFP.
"Due to confidentiality restrictions, we are not able to comment on any specifics, including what contingencies need to be cleared to close the sale."
Metropoulos is a principal at private-equity firm Metropoulos and Co., which co-owns Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, an iconic American snack.
He intends to connect the two estates into a combined 7.3-acre compound once Hefner dies, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The paper quoted Metropoulos as saying the mansion's heritage "transcends its celebrity" and that "to have the opportunity to serve as its steward would be a true privilege."
He declined to disclose the purchase price, although the estate was valued at $200 million when Playboy Enterprises put it up for sale earlier this year.
Built in 1927 and bought by Hefner for $1 million in 1971, the property was emblematic of Hollywood's excess, hosting its infamous pool parties with a lingerie-only dress code for the female guests who cavorted in the caved grotto.
Elvis reportedly slept with eight Playmates at once at the 12-bedroom stately home, while John Lennon once burned a Matisse original with a cigarette.
The sale comes soon after the magazine's recent relaunch as a mainstream publication with no full-frontal nudity, and with the parent company on sale for an estimated $500 million.