Meet the new owner of the Playboy Mansion

Daren Metropoulos paid $100 million for the Playboy mansion but still can't throw Hugh Hefner out of the property.

Meryl D'Souza October 25, 2016

You may not have heard of Daren Metropoulos, but you will. In August, the co-owner of Hostess Brands dropped $100 million for the Playboy Mansion.

The acquisition was the biggest home sale recorded in Los Angeles County history. But don’t get too caught up in the figures, it was actually a great deal when you consider that the property was listed for $200 million

So what will Mr. Metropoulos be getting for all that cash? Simply put, every man’s fantasy home replete with 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, a catering kitchen, wine cellar, separate games house, a swimming pool that connects to the property’s cave-like grotto and of course, a plethora of questionable stains.

The house also comes with a year-round fireworks permit and a zoo license – not a surprise since exotic birds, monkeys and albino peacocks are known to wander freely around the gardens. 

Metropoulos had been eyeing the house for a while, as you do when you're someone's neighbour. His current home, which he bought in 2009, is the Playboy Mansion’s sister property that was previously owned by Hefner’s former wife Kimberley Conrad and their two sons. A year after making that purchase, Daren made a failed bid to buy the Playboy Mansion for $75 million.

According to the mansion’s sale stipulations, the 33-year-old business mogul will have to keep the 90-year-old Mr. Hefner as a tenant, receiving $1 million a year from the former owner towards upkeep. 

Who is Daren Metropoulos?

Hugh Hefner’s new landlord is the son of billionaire dealmaker C. Dean Metropoulos. As 20-somethings Daren and his brother, Evan, took over their father’s empire that was built on Chef Boyardee and Bumble Bee’s tinned foods, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and sweet treats with names like Twinkies and Ho Hos - perhaps the passing of the Playboy torch was destined.

A 2009 lawsuit by a former girlfriend – and 2002 Playmate Of The Year – on assault charges (since dismissed) and Evan telling a New York Times reporter that he has “been with more chicks that any fat guy you know, except Pavarotti” only cemented Daren’s place as the rightful misogynistic heir to rule the Playboy Mansion. 

However, Daren Metropoulos’ interest in the Playboy Mansion has been described as “pure” by Bill Toler, the chief executive of Hostess. Mr. Metropoulos echoed the same to Wall Street Journal: “The heritage of this property transcends its celebrity, and to have the opportunity to serve as its steward would be a true privilege.”

There is talk of how Daren wants to refurbish the interiors and even connect the main property with the sister house and rule the seven-acre land. There are growing murmurs that Daren is even considering turning the Mansion into some kind of hotel. Just imagine how a listing like that would go down on AirBnb

In fairness, giving the Playboy Mansion a new sense of being falls in line with Metropoulos’ business model. The brothers, like their father, excel at taking legacy brands and re-purposing them for nostalgic millennials through some stellar bit of guerrilla marketing campaigns.

After all, for a house that was once described as “toxic” by former housemate Holly Madison – to the point where she developed a stutter and considered suicide – rebranding would be a blessing.