The iconic Los Angeles mansion of Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy empire, is being put up for sale for $200 million, Playboy Enterprises said, one of the highest asking prices for a private residence in the United States.

As a condition of the sale, magazine founder Hefner would get to continue living there as he has since the company bought the mansion 45 years ago for just over $1 million, company spokesman John Vlautin said.

The Gothic Tudor-style mansion, which has an area of nearly 20,000 square feet and boasts 29 rooms, sits amid five acres in Holmby Hills west of the city.

In addition to amenities such as a tennis court and a free-form swimming pool, the estate is home to the infamous Playboy grotto, which over the years served as the setting for some of Hefner's most lavish, hedonistic parties.

The mansion, in which Hefner still lives, also has a zoo licence, the company said in a statement announcing the sale.

"The Playboy Mansion has been a creative centre for Hef as his residence and workplace for the past 40 years, as it will continue to be if the property is sold," the statement added.

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Playboy Bunnies pose for a selfie in front of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles last August. The estate is home to the infamous Playboy grotto, which over the years served as the setting for some of Hefner's most lavish, hedonistic parties. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

The sale comes as Playboy, which has been has seen its circulation plunge as it competed with more sexually explicit
magazines and online porn, seeks to reinvent itself. In October, the magazine that helped launched the sexual revolution, announced that it will stop running photos of completely naked women in its U.S. print edition. The move followed a decision in August 2014 to ban full nudity on its website.

Playboy CEO Scott Flanders says the sale would help the company "reinvest in the transformation of our business" while allowing the 89-year-old Hefner to continue living there.

"The Playboy Mansion has been a creative centre for Hef as his residence and workplace for the past 40 years, as it will continue to be if the property is sold," Flanders said in a statement.

Hefner originally named a home he bought in Chicago in 1959 the Playboy Mansion, but he eventually made the Los Angeles estate, which he dubbed Playboy Mansion West, his permanent home.

The principal agents for the listing are Drew Fenton and  Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland and The Agency's Mauricio Umansky,  the husband of actress Kyle Richards of reality television show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

With files from The Associated Press