The Topps Co. is looking ahead toward a digital, on-demand, and publicly traded future.
The company behind Topps Baseball Cards, the Garbage Pail Kids, Bazooka gum, and a host of nonsport trading cards and other properties will merge with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II — a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) — and go public this fall. The combined company will simply be named Topps and will be listed on NASDAQ under the symbol TOPP. The New York Times’ DealBook first reported the story.
According to the Times, the deal values Topps at $1.3 billion.
Former Disney CEO Michael Eiser has served as Topps’ chairman since 2007 when his company, The Tornante Co., teamed with Madison Dearborn Partners to acquire Topps. Eisner says he’s rolling his full stake into the new company and will continue in his role as chairman.
Other investors in the deal include SPAC sponsor Mudrick Captial, GAMCO Investors, and Wells Capital Management. The deal is expected to close on the cusp of the second and third quarters of this year.
In recent months, Topps has been increasingly focused on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that represent digital collectibles stored on the blockchain. Additionally, its Topps Now program celebrates sports and pop culture events by offering limited-time trading cards that are printed to order in one run. The company recently launched Project 70, a collection of new products designed to celebrate 70 years of Topps Baseball Cards.