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Topps SPAC Merger Falters as MLB Strikes New Trading-Card Deal

MLB trading cards will be made by Fanatics after a card deal with Topps expires next year. That ended Topps' plan to go public via a SPAC.
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The SPAC merger between Mudrick Capital  (MUDS) - Get Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation Class A Report and Topps ended after Major League Baseball decided to end its 70-year trading-card partnership with the trading-card company. 

Mudrick says the deal was terminated by mutual agreement after the company was notified by the league and its players association that they would not be renewing their deals with Topps.

ESPN reported on Thursday that MLB instead gave exclusive licenses to the Jacksonville, Fla., memorabilia company Fanatics to produce baseball cards after the current MLB Players Association deal with Panini and Topps expires at the end of 2022.

Shares of Mudrick Capital at last check were falling 2.5% to $9.86. 

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Topps has an agreement with MLB, separate from the MLB players association deal, that expires at the end of 2025.

The trading card company had been slated to go public via a SPAC transaction that valued the company at about $1.3 billion. 

Former Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report Chief Executive Michael Eisner, via his Tornante investment firm and Chicago private-equity firm Madison Dearborn, took Topps private in 2007 for $385 million.  

Topps’s net sales rose 23% in 2020 to $567 million, CNBC reported, as the company has shifted into interactive mobile apps to connect collectors and nonfungible tokens.  

The company also owns candies Bazooka, Ring Pop and Baby Bottle Pop. 

Meanwhile, Fanatics has also struck deals with the National Basketball Players Association and National Football League Players Association. Both those groups, along with the Major League Baseball Players Association, will have equity in the licensing venture with a Fanatics-founded company, ESPN reported.