Topps Reportedly Set to Go Public Via SPAC

Topps, which has been making baseball cards for 70 years, is going public in a SPAC transaction valuing the company at $1.3 billion, a report says.
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Topps, which has been making baseball cards for 70 years, is going public in a SPAC transaction valuing the company at $1.3 billion, a media report says.

The producer of a range off trading cards is merging with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corp. II, MUDS The New York Times reports. 

Former Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Report Chief Executive Michael Eisner will remain chairman of Topps and maintain his investment in the New York company, according to The Times.

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At last check Mudrick shares were 8.5% higher at $10.74.

Eisner, via his Tornante investment firm, and the Chicago private-equity firm Madison Dearborn took Topps private in 2007 for $385 million

Mudrick and other investors, including Gamco and Wells Capital, will invest $250 million in the deal, according to The Times.

Topps expects the deal to close in the second or third quarter. The combined company will be named Topps and will trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TOPP.

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Topps’ net sales rose 23% in 2020 to $567 million, CNBC reports. Topps has spread beyond trading cards into interactive mobile apps to connect collectors and nonfungible tokens. It also owns candies, including Bazooka, Ring Pop and Baby Bottle Pop.

“Everybody has a story about Topps,” Eisner told The Times.

Sports-memorabilia values have caught fire during the pandemic. A Mickey Mantle card recently sold for $5.2 million.

In other sports-business developments, Sports Illustrated inaugurated premium membership in February.

Jacob Harris wrote a column for SI last month satirizing the way we talk about money in sports. For example, “athletes typically find themselves exempt from the negative sociopolitical rhetoric associated with wealth,” he says.