The 80 year old trading card company, The Topps Co, best known for its Topps Baseball Cards and Garbage Pail Kids collectables, is going public in a SPAC deal valued at $1.3bn.
The company revealed this week that it was merging with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II – a special purpose firm also known as a ‘blank check company’ – to operate under the new title, Topps.
The company will also now trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker TOPP when it goes public this autumn, allowing consumers to trade shares, as well as collectable cards.
First reported by the New York Times’s DealBook, the deal will see Michael Eisner – the former CEO and chairman of Disney – stay in his current role as the chairman of Topps. Eisner – whose investment company The Tornante Co partnered with Madison Dearborn Partners to acquire Topps in 2007 – will also maintain his ownership stake in the new company.
The deal follows what Topps has billed as a year of record sales of $567 million in 2020, a 23 per cent jump on the previous year. While the collectables specialist has seen a surge in popularity over the course of the pandemic that led to the recent sale of one Mickey Mantle baseball card selling for $5.2 million, it has insisted that the uptick in the memorabilia and trading card market was set in place prior to the global crisis.
Recognised in the UK for its Topps Match Attax collection, the company has made a success of extending beyond sports trading cards, too with a growing licensing portfolio that includes heavyweight entertainment properties, Marvel and Star Wars.
Further investors in the deal include SPAC sponsor Mudrick Captial, GAMCO Investors, and Wells Capital Management.