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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Fanatics to Acquire Topps

  • Fanatics is buying Topps, sources confirmed to Front Office Sports.
  • Fanatics will be able to start producing MLB cards when the deal closes.
Fanatics-Topps
Fanatics/Design: Alex Brooks

First Fanatics supplanted Topps, the biggest name in trading cards. Now it’s buying Topps, sources confirmed to Front Office Sports.

The deal is for around $500 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Topps posted $550 million in 2021 revenue, with an EBITDA of $160 million.

Topps held the rights to produce Major League Baseball trading cards for 70 years, but Fanatics won the contract from Topps last August. Fanatics was to take over MLB card production in 2026, after Topps’ deal expired the previous year, but will be able to begin doing so immediately on completion of the deal.

The deal is for Topps’ physical and digital trading card business, but does not include its candy or gift card segments.

  • In addition to its agreements with MLB and the MLBPA, Fanatics has recently scored trading card deals with the NBA, NBPA, and the NFLPA. Each organization will hold equity stakes in the new organization. 
  • Topps still holds rights deals with Bundesliga, MLS, Formula 1, and UEFA.
  • Fanatics Trading Cards raised $350 million in October at a $10.4 billion valuation. Its NFT platform, Candy Digital, was valued at $1.5 billion after a $100 million Series A round that same month. 

More to Come?

Fanatics has not been shy about its ambitions. It has explored acquiring a sportsbook and is reportedly interested in buying into the regional sports network business.

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