The Playboy empire is reported to be for sale

The sale of the Playboy Mansion prompted a number of parties to declare that they are interested in buying the company...

The Playboy empire is reported to be for sale

Damian Dovarganes / AP

Multiple overnight reports suggest that the Playboy adult entertainment group is for sale.

The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times say that sources have revealed to them that the current owners are considering cashing out.

The group has struggled to adapt to changing consumer behaviour - circulation of the physical magazine has dropped from a peak of 5.6m copies in 1975 to 800,000 last year.

If it is sold Playboy is expected to fetch more than $500m.

Playboy has stopped publishing nude photography as it tries to strengthen its brand as a premium male lifestyle magazine.

Investment bank Moelis & Co is reported to have been hired to manage the sale.

Hugh Hefner published the first Playboy issue in 1953 with actress Marilyn Monroe in the centrefold.

The Playboy Mansion was listed for sale earlier in this year - it is reported that this prompted potential buyers to express their interest in buying the company.

Playboy has a broad portfolio of interests across a number of media formats. It has also licensed its brand and logo to hundreds of products including clothing lines, fragrances, liquor and jewelry.