Hefner's company -- founded 56 years ago -- is battling the recession and the rise in Internet pornography, with the firm recently posting losses of $13 million for the first quarter of 2009.
Sources suggest the 83-year-old is thinking of retiring and courting Virgin boss Branson as a potential buyer -- with a price tag set at $300 million.
A Playboy spokesperson denies any offers have been made, but admits Hefner would "listen to proposals that could create value for all of our shareholders."
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