Thursday December 7, 2023

Topps Going Public in $1.3B SPAC Deal

Tom Jacobs-The News Leader/Design: Alex Brooks
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Those old forgotten Topps cards in your attic could be worth a small fortune. Pretty soon, the same might be said for Topps stock.

The 83-year-old trading card company is planning to go public via SPAC through a merger with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II, per The New York Times.

The deal will value Topps at $1.3 billion, with a $250 million expected investment from funds and accounts managed by Gamco Investors and Wells Capital Management, as well as Mudrick Capital itself.

Current shareholders of Mudrick will own 28% of the company following the merger.

Topps’ net sales rose 23% in 2020 to $567 million due to its shift to digital, including the launch of apps and NFTs, and the rising interest in sports memorabilia during the pandemic. The deal to go public was made before the NFT popularity spike, according to Topps chairman Michael Eisner. 

“This is the icing on the cake, going digital completely, with the analog still in place,” he said.

Physical cards still have a play in the game — Topps has been making cards since 1949, and the sector continues to boom. A Tom Brady rookie card recently sold for $2.25 million and a Topps Mickey Mantle card sold for $5.2 million in January.

Topps, which also has a digital gift card business and candy segment, has sports partnerships with MLB, MLS, and Formula 1, among others. The company estimates that its revenue will reach $692 million in 2021.

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