His company, based in Luxembourg \(with offices around the globe\), owns many of the major online porn sites \(like Brazzers and Twisty's\), overseesPlayboy's online and television operations, manages the online operations of Wicked Pictures, and this week signed a deal to buy Digital Playground, one of the industry's largest filmmakers.
But ask Thylmann, who prefers to avoid the spotlight, about Manwin and he'll describe it as something much different from a porn empire.
"In essence, Manwin is a tech company," he said at a rare keynote speech at Internext, an industry-only conference held immediately before The Adult Entertainment Expo. "We're online and have such big sites that we have to be very, very good at the tech side of this business."
Some might roll their eyes at such a description, but Thylmann made a strong enough case over a 10-month period in 2010 and 2011 to convince a Wall Street fund (which he declines to name) to agree to a nine-figure loan in April 2011. The money was used to pay down previous acquisition debts and fund new takeovers, such as Digital Playground.
An investment that large, in any company, is worth noting. And Thylmann says that while there are no plans for an IPOat present, it's something the company has not ruled out.
"Clearly, I'm not going to say no, but I honestly haven't decided yet," he said in the speech. "The lenders asked that, because they want to know if I have an exit [strategy]. What I told them is: 'The money I make today is fine. I don't need to go public.'"
Besides, he notes, companies that are pure porn plays don't tend to do well with investors. Before he'd consider an IPO, Manwin would have to diversify.