By Ryan Velez
Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy and a pop-culture icon in his own right, has passed away at the age of 91. While the world reflects on him, it may be surprising to realize that at the time of his death, he didn’t even own the Playboy Mansion that he was known for. That honor goes to 33-year old Daren Metropoulos, who brought the mansion with the sole provision that Hefner could still live in it for the rest of his life. Who is this person, and how did he come up with the $110 million to buy the mansion? Celebrity Net Worth shares the story.
As a note, Metropoulos is no stranger to the neighborhood, having bought the $18 million mansion next door to the Playboy Mansion. In fact, he has ambitions to merge the two into one mega-property, which he can now begin with Hefner’s death. Metropoulos is the son of billionaire businessman C. Dean Metropoulos and the former CEO of Pabst Brewing Company. The elder Metropoulos is credited with bringing up struggling brands like Hostess, Bumble Bee Tuna, Pabst, and Chef Boyardee. The Greek-born billionaire has been dubbed "Mr. Shelf Space" for his presence in grocery stores across the country. Daren’s start in business came when his father brought Pabst for $250 million cash in 2010. C. Dean put Daren and his brother Evan in charge, the start of what he had groomed them for years to do: take over his empire.
The two brothers took to their jobs well, using their skills in social media and branding to turn Pabst into a favorite of hipsters and college students. Many assumed that this would be a crown jewel of the family empire, but it ended up being just the opposite. The Metropoulos family sold it in 2014 for a $500 million profit.
In 2013, when Hostess went bankrupt, the family quickly took action. Teaming with the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, they bought Hostess for $400 million. On top of saving Twinkies, they made dramatic changes to production to favor efficiency, and relaunched the dessert brand with the slogan "The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever." What’s next for the family? They have talked about buying an NFL franchise in the future, with teams like the Oakland Raiders, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Buffalo Bills coming up.