Beate Uhse acquires Playhouse

Posted: February 27, 2009

Beate Uhse AG has announced that it has taken over the Playhouse Group. Both companies are based in Holland and Playhouse has been co-operating with Scala, the wholesale arm of Beate Uhse, for the last six months, including having a presence at last year’s Scala Trade Fair.

Playhouse is one of Europe’s leading wholesalers of films, sex toys, lingerie and wellness products. Its own range of sex toys includes around 600 products and it also owns 8,000 film titles. The company had a turnover of around 13m euros in 2008. Playhouse sells its products through both the traditional retail supply chain, Internet platforms and new media channels such as IPTV, VOD and mobile value-added services.

“This acquisition is of especially great strategic significance for our group,” commented Beate Uhse’s COO, Serge van der Hooft. “It will open up entirely new opportunities for marketing products, especially via new media channels. We believe the future is clearly to be found in the digitalisation of erotica.”

Beate Uhse’s customer base will be increased by Playhouse’s 2,400 trade customers from 42 countries and Playhouse shareholders Walter Kroes and Bert Ruzette will be integrated into the management. Walter Kroes will take over the wholesale business as second managing director, while Bert Ruzette will be responsible for the new media division and for Beate Uhse Licensing BV, the recently founded film right marketing subsidiary.

The two former Playhouse shareholders will receive 7,090,000 shares in Beate Uhse AG, which are to be issued at a nominal value of euro 1.00 per share within the framework of a capital increase undertaken to the exclusion of public subscription rights. The new shareholders, who will also receive a significant cash payment, have committed themselves to the group by agreeing not to dispose of these shares for at least five years.