Topps Staying Private, Merger with Mudrick Capital Called Off

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Topps isn’t going public after all. With word coming out yesterday that the MLB and MLBPA are expected to award the exclusive baseball card license to Fanatics, Topps and Mudrick Capital have called off their plans to merge. The move will keep Topps as a private company.

A release from Topps said the decision to cancel the merger was a mutual one.

Topps and Mudrick were nearing the finishing line of a merger that would have seen the new company go public on the NASDAQ exchange. An official shareholder vote to finalize that deal had been scheduled for next week on August 25.

However, with MLB baseball cards making up a significant amount of their business, that loss changed the future company’s outlook and potential earnings.

A statement from Topps said, “Topps expects to be able to produce substantially all its current licensed baseball products through 2025, pursuant to its existing agreements, and will build on the exceptional performance in the second quarter of 2021 in its Sports & Entertainment segment, and its Confections segment.”

Topps has been producing MLB cards continuously since 1951. They’ve had the exclusive license for the league since 2010. Their current deal runs through 2025 with the new Fanatics-led company now expected to take over in 2026.

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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4 comments

  1. Prefer Not to Say 20 August, 2021 at 13:26

    Saw this coming yesterday when the Fanatics deal was announced. Now that MLB and the MLBPA have torpedoed Topps ability to go public with a suspiciously timed announcement, I expect to see a hostile takeover of Topps by Fanatics. Which, if it comes to fruition, would mean Fanatics gets MLB, the NFL, the NBA and Soccer…can you say Monopoly anyone?

    While not a fan of the exclusive rights deals such as Topps has had since 2010, I’ll be sad to see the name go off of baseball cards (provided Fanatics doesn’t take over the Topps name). Yes, I’ve had my issues with Topps’ terrible customer service and their quality control wasn’t alway there, but there is so much history and continuity of collections that’s going to be disrupted now.

    I would much rather see the rights for trading cards and collectibles spread across multiple companies, while limiting the amounts of sets and cards they could produce instead. The competition would force the card companies to improve their products and their customer care while preventing overprinting.

    This move does nothing to improve the collector experience and will probably exacerbate many of the issues currently facing the hobby. I highly doubt a VC Bro company like Fanatics is going to give a damn about quality, customers, or scarcity – especially with a new Monopoly.

    Dark days are ahead, I’m afraid.

  2. John Mertens Jr. 20 August, 2021 at 23:28

    UNFORTUNATE ……..COMPLETE SHAME ….. ANOTHER PART OF HISTORY BEING CHANGED …

  3. Roy 21 August, 2021 at 06:53

    Hey Prefer Not To Say, you are incorrect. – There will be NO hostile takeover— because hostile takeovers only apply when a company is a publicly traded company with stock. Topps is privately owned, and remains privately owned because on Friday, Mudrick has terminated their attempt to make Topps a publicly traded company. As for monoply of product lines – Topps itself was trying to make their own monopoly. — BTW: If Topps went public, Michael Eisner was going to be take in 500 million dollars plus another 75 million – all on top of his 50 million dollar take recently on this whole process. Eisner was bragging on how much his business was profiting and he would have had an 86% super voting power over the publicly traded Topps company. — With the events playing out – Michael Eisner has been kicked off his ego & power trip.

  4. Steve 21 August, 2021 at 11:57

    My kids and I are done collecting now. It already costs a fortune to go to a game with your kids, players already are set for life if they actually control their finances. Now they take another step toward destroying a hobby that is supposed to be for kids. Grown ups and greed are destroying so much. I know we dont have any power to stop this, I hope people stop collecting and tell MLB and the players association to go stick it. You’re rich enough.

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