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Topps to go public through SPAC deal as baseball card company ventures into NFTs


Topps buying and selling playing cards are organized for {a photograph} in Richmond, Virginia.

Jay Paul | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Topps, which is greatest identified for its baseball playing cards and Bazooka sweet line, has agreed to go public through a merger with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II, a particular function acquisition company, that values Topps at $1.three billion.

Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner will keep on Topps’ chairman. Mudrick Capital and funds and accounts managed by GAMCO Investors and Wells Capital Management are anticipated to make investments an extra $250 million within the SPAC.

The deal is predicted to shut within the late second or early third quarter. The mixed company will likely be known as Topps and can commerce on the Nasdaq underneath the ticker “TOPP.” The New York Times’ Dealbook was the primary to report the deal.

Topps’ web gross sales rose 23% in 2020 to $567 million, a document excessive for the company. While Topps is greatest identified for its sports activities buying and selling playing cards, it is branched out into interactive cell apps to join collectors and not too long ago expanded into nonfungible tokens, a brand new form of digital asset. Ownership of an NFT is recorded on a blockchain, comparable to the networks that underpin cryptocurrencies. Each NFT is exclusive and cannot be duplicated, identical to proudly owning an authentic portray or a uncommon baseball card.

Other corporations, starting from Taco Bell to Atari, have additionally jumped on the NFT bandwagon. Funko, which makes collectible vinyl collectible figurines, not too long ago purchased an NFT startup to assist it navigate the brand new pattern. But executives instructed Dealbook that the Topps deal wasn’t due to its latest enlargement in NFTs, though sports-related NFTs have been surging. In late February, Dapper Labs mentioned customers had already spent extra than $230 million shopping for and buying and selling highlights from the National Basketball Association.

Topps additionally has a present playing cards enterprise underneath the identify Topps Digital Services, the place it really works with corporations like Netflix, Airbnb and Nike. Its sweet phase consists of iconic manufacturers like Bazooka, Ring Pop and Baby Bottle Pop.

Tune into CNBC at 8:15 a.m. ET for an interview with Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO and present Topps chairman, and Jason Mudrick, founder and chief funding officer of Mudrick Capital Management.



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