Topps SPAC Deal Proves Tangible Trading Cards Are Still in the Game

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Apr. 6 2021, Published 11:01 a.m. ET

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) aside, real-world trading cards are still the star of the show. The Topps Company has proven its relevance through the finalization of a $1.3 billion SPAC deal with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II (NASDAQ:MUDS).

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When is this SPAC going down, and what can investors expect from the new setup for an 83-year-old company? 

Details of the Topps SPAC deal

Mudrick has valued Topps at an impressive $1.3 billion in the SPAC deal. They aren't the only institution with a hand in the acquisition, though. Gamco Investors and Wells Capital Management are two other institutions that plan on contributing another $250 million in the deal.

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Given recent growth for Topps, it makes sense that the company is embarking on a publicly traded journey. In 2020, its net sales jumped up 23 percent and hit $567 million for the year, which is the most Topps has ever sold. 

Topps should be public in Q2 or Q3.

Investors can expect to find Topps on the public market sometime in the second quarter or third quarter of 2021 (although it will likely be closer to the third quarter, according to reports).  

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Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner is staying on board at Topps

Michael Eisner joined Disney as the chairman of the board and CEO in 1984. He also served as president of the company from 1997 to 2000. Eisner ultimately left Disney in 2004 following claims of mismanagement. Roy Disney was just one of the many who weren't impressed with his leadership. At a meeting in March 2004, 43 percent of the voting shareholders expressed their distrust of the chairman's capabilities. Eisner subsequently left his post.

Eisner got involved with Topps in 2007 after his holding company, The Tornante Company, acquired Topps for $385 million. Eisner has propelled Topps into new territory by expanding its reach as a fully-fledged sports media company. He's doing so by implementing a selection of interactive mobile apps that serve as collector communities. The company has even started hitting the NFT arena. This effort in particular could be especially lucrative if NFTs manage to hold secure value in the years to come. Dapper Labs' NBA Top Shot sells digitized trading cards, with consumers already spending $230 million on the platform.

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Bazooka Candy is also a part of the Topps brand, and Eisner is working to expand its reach.

Following the SPAC, Eisner will stay on the board to help bring his vision for Topps to fruition. He plans to roll the entirety of his equity over into the new brand. 

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Where to find Topps stock when it goes public

When Topps stock drops on the market, it will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "TOPP." For now, Mudrick stock is up 9.7 percent with the news.

Eisner told The New York Times, "Everybody has a story about Topps." He might be right, but it's up to him to ensure that those stories stay positive as Topps makes a whole new move. Given that many SPACs deal with uncertain startups, there's something to be said for Topps's proven resiliency in the private market. 

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