Word on the Street: Fanatics Inc. is in talks to buy the trading card division of Topps Co. for about $500 million. The deal could potentially allow Fanatics to take over Topps, their rival, just months after they signed up Major League Baseball as a client.
Topps, a co-owned company of Disney boss Michael Eisner, would sell the cards and entertainment division to focus on other ventures. These include candy and gift cards. About 350 Topps employees will be joining Fanatics. The deal will be finalized this week, a person familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information is private
Fanatics representatives declined to comment, while Topps representatives didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Fanatics has expanded from being a clothing retailer with a collectibles department to being a market leader in cards. Topps was originally going to go public last year but decided not to after the MLB deal was pulled due to changes in the media landscape.
Fanatics Inc may buy Topps for $500 million
This acquisition is really exciting for all of us because it will allow Fanatics Trading Cards to take over as licensee for MLB cards, years earlier than planned. Fanatics is one of the world’s leading enterprise retail brands. It has recently been valued at $10.4 billion in a funding round and has dealt with the National Basketball Association and National Football League players’ unions.
Michael Rubin has been getting Fanatics into different sectors of the sports industry. With plans to enter into online gambling, ticketing, and media. Sports collectibles prices have risen over the past year. Along with other alternative asset classes like non-fungible tokens, sneakers, or anything else that could be considered collectibles, there has been a surge in prices.