SELLER: Playboy Enterprises
BUYER: Daren Metropoulos
PRICE: We heard around $120 million
SIZE: 20,000 square feet

YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: We first heard it this morning from Our Fairy Godmother in Bel Air and quickly received covert confirmations from a slew of informants including Yolanda Yakketyyak, Rod Iron and Caren Cracklebush that The Playboy Mansion is in escrow and about to be sold to businessman — and next door neighbor — Daren Metropoulos. We can’t confirm the rumors but more than one informant told this property gossip the sale price of the world renown estate, which hit the market to much publicity earlier this year with an asking price of $200 million, is right around $120 million.

The 5.3-acre spread, in the hoity-toity Holmby Hills ‘hood, includes a 29-room Gothic Tudor mansion of around 20,000-square-feet plus a separate four-bedroom guesthouse, a catering kitchen capable of feeding hundreds at a time, an extensive wine cellar, home theater, separate structure that houses a huge game room, gym, tennis court and, of course, the massive free-form swimming pool and cave-like spa grotto where over the decades untold numbers of box office superstars and other assorted Hollywood heavy hitters have cavorted with the dozens of scantily clad and artificially enhanced young women who are in regular attendance at the estate’s frequent soirees. The property is one of the few in Los Angeles with a zoo permit, according to online listings, and includes a large aviary and several pens for exotic animals.

The main residence was designed by celebrated architect Arthur Kelly and built in the mid-1920s for department store heir Arthur Letts, Junior. It was later owned by Louis Statham, a prolific inventor and avid chess player, who sold it to Hugh Hefner in 1971 for a then record breaking $1.05 million.

Young Mister Metropoulos, the fortunately born 30-something-year-old son of billionaire investor C. Dean Metropoulos — the man responsible for saving the Twinkie and owning the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer empire, previously popped up in all the property gossip columns in 2009 when he paid $18 million in cold hard cash for the estate immediately next door, the former Hefner family home that was sold by Hugh Hefner’s second ex-wife, former Playboy Playmate Kimberly Conrad.

UPDATE (Later same day): The sale of The Playboy Mansion comes with the stipulation that Mister Hefner, now 90 years old, remain in residence until his death after which, a representative told The Wall Street Journal, Mister Metropoulos plans to combine the neighboring estates into a single, 7.3-acre compound.

The estate is listed with Mauricio Umansky at The Agency and Gary Gold and Drew Fenton at Hilton & Hyland.

Listing photos: The Agency