The Playboy Mansion has found a would-be buyer: Daren Metropoulos, Hugh Hefner’s next-door neighbor, has struck a deal to purchase the place. But who is he?
Metropoulos is the son of billionaire investor C. Dean Metropoulos and an executive at the private equity firm C. Metropoulos & Co., which co-owns Hostess Brands with Apollo Global Management. The firm helped with the comeback of Hostess’ Twinkies, which were discontinued in 2012 and at one point were offered for thousands of dollars on EBay before stores could begin stocking them again months later.
The 32-year-old Metropoulos has spent his career working alongside his father and brother, Evan, to buy and flip brands such as Perrier Jouët Champagne, Ghirardelli Chocolates, Bumble Bee Tuna and Pabst Brewing Co. Metropoulos and his brother served as co-chief executives of Pabst from 2010 to 2014, before selling the company for more than $700 million.
Metropoulos embarked on a significant restoration of his property next door by making substantial improvements to the formal gardens and grounds, which are next to the Los Angeles Country Club and include the original gate that connects to the Playboy Mansion, according to a statement issued by a representative of C. Metropoulos & Co.
The Playboy Mansion was listed for more than $200 million by broker Mauricio Umansky of the Agency, along with Gary Gold and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. As a condition of the sale, Metropoulos will allow the 90-year-old Hefner to stay in the home for the rest of his life.
Metropoulos was unavailable to comment on future plans for the Playboy Mansion because of confidentiality agreements with the sale, but he’s interested in preserving the architectural pedigree of the 1927 Gothic Tudor home, according to the statement.
Once the purchase closes and after Hefner’s tenancy ends, the statement said, Metropoulos intends to reconnect the two estates, which would return the 7.3-acre compound to the original vision of the property’s architect, Arthur R. Kelly, and first owner, Arthur Letts Jr.