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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 January, 2004, 15:25 GMT
German sex shop targets Penthouse
A Beate Uhse shop front
Germany's biggest sex shop chain is hoping to buy the bankrupt firm that owns men's magazine Penthouse.

Beate Uhse AG has offered $62m for General Media Inc, which it said would raise its international profile.

The German firm, named after the woman who founded it in 1946, has focused recently on expanding into other European markets.

General Media has been in bankruptcy and protected from its creditors since August 2003 following sliding sales.

Expansion plans

The Beate Uhse chain includes 291 stores in 10 countries.

It has no shops in the US, but operates a mail order service there.

Owning Penthouse, it said, would allow it to "strictly following our international expansion plans".

Penthouse itself was founded in 1965 to compete with Hugh Hefner's Playboy magazine.

But in recent years the popularity of porn on the internet, combined with the wide availability of revealing pictures of celebrities in the mainstream media, mean its sales have slumped.

Despite being a woman, Ms Uhse was a Luftwaffe pilot during World War II, holding the rank of a captain.

After the war she embarked on a new career selling sexual aids and literature.




SEE ALSO:
Penthouse publisher goes bust
13 Aug 03  |  Business
Sex-shop chain's sales surge
28 Aug 01  |  Business



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