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Desi bunny for sale: Pamasis, IC Universal bag Viiking Ventures acquisition of Playboy rights from ‘wonderful’ client PB Lifestyle

One does wonder whether all the Playboy publicity generated by Hefner’s death late last month would have positively affected valuations...

Playboy Indian franchise sale (coincidentally) goes through shortly after Hefner demise
Playboy Indian franchise sale (coincidentally) goes through shortly after Hefner demise

Viiking Ventures, India’s fastest growing conglomerate promoted by actor and businessman Mr. Sachiin Joshi has acquired majority stake in PB Lifestyle, the Indian entity having exclusive license and rights with respect to the brand Playboy in India, granted by Playboy Enterprises, Inc. as reported by Economic Times.

Playboy is one of the most recognised consumer brands in the world, with the US company Playboy Enterprises Inc having transformed the late Hugh Hefner’s soft porn and lifestyle magazine empire to become a media and lifestyle company that markets the brand ‘Playboy’ through a wide range of media properties and licensing initiatives.

PB had enjoyed the exclusive license in India to launch Playboy-branded clubs, cafes, lounges, pubs, beer gardens, hotels, signature events and merchandise in India, having set up nightclubs in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, a cafe in Gurgaon, and beer gardens in Pune and Hyderabad.

IC Universal Legal Mumbai-based partner Sambhav Ranka, principal associate Souvik Roy and associate Kanishka Bajpai, represented Viiking Ventures as the legal advisor, according to a press release from the firm. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) acted as the commercial and financial adviser to Viiking for this transaction.

Pamasis Law Chambers Delhi-based founding partner Sameer Jain represented and negotiated all agreements on behalf of PB Lifestyle. Pamasis was founded by brothers Sameer (from Luthra & Luthra) and Siddharth Jain (from Fox Mandal) and Sandeep Bajaj (from the chambers of AS Chandhiok) in 2012.

Jain commented: “The transaction was interesting with multiple agreements negotiated over a long period of time. Apart from structuring the deal as per the legal landscape, it was imperative to match the counterparty’s expectation with the ground realities of F&B business. We are happy that it successfully concluded.’’

Jain added that Pamasis has had a long association with PB Lifestyle - and its “wonderful top management team including Parag Sanghavi, Mitesh Mehta and Amar Panghal” - as their sole legal advisor, assisting with its corporate law requirements, licensing and franchisee agreements along with litigation.

Picture by terren in Virginia & Glenn Francis

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