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Topps goes public via $ 1.3 billion SPAC deal
Topps on Tuesday announced plans to merge with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in a deal that values ​​Topps at $ 1.3 billion. The company will partner with a blank check company named Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II, (MUDS) or MUDS. MUDS shares jumped more than 15% on the news.

The transaction also includes a so-called private investment in public shares (or PIPE) of $ 250 million.

Topps has been a publicly traded company several times over its 83 years of operation. More recently, the company was privatized in 2007 by The Tornante Co., an investment firm run by former Disney (Dis) CEO Michael Eisner, in a deal worth $ 385 million.

The demand (and prices) for baseball cards and other collectibles has exploded in recent times due to the 21st century twist on the business due to the new popularity of NFTs.

Topps recently expanded its business to sell digital editions of its player cards, each with a unique NFT based on blockchain technology. This creates a rarity value that makes them more attractive to collectors – and more valuable.

Topps is “well situated with a universally recognized brand to capitalize on the rapidly emerging collectible NFT market,” said Jason Mudrick, founder and chief investment officer of Mudrick Capital, in the statement.

Eisner, who will remain chairman of Topps after the PSPC merger is complete, added in the statement that there is “a strong emotional connection between the Topps brand and consumers of all ages.”

Topps has a “growing portfolio of strategic licensing partnerships” that will help it be profitable, he said. The company owns the famous Bazooka gum brand as well as the Ring Pop, Baby Bottle Pop, and Juicy Drop sour candy and gel brands.

But given the current craze for collectibles, Topps’ base baseball card business is the main draw.

Dapper Labs, a Canadian blockchain company that developed the NBA Top Shot crypto-collectible firm, recently raised over $ 300 million from a group that includes basketball legend Michael Jordan and the current star player Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets. Dapper, who also developed CryptoKitties, is now valued at $ 2.6 billion, according to data from research firm CB Insights.

Wealthy investors are increasingly betting on collectible cards for sports in addition to more traditional assets like stocks, bonds and real estate.

To that end, a 2000 autographed rookie card for football legend Tom Brady was just sold for almost $ 2.3 million at an auction last week. It was a record price, breaking the previous record of over $ 1.3 million that another Brady rookie card had set a few weeks earlier.


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