Michael Eisner Sells Sports Trading Card Company Topps After Losing Key Licenses |
The acquisition of Topps accelerates Fanatics’ push into the collectible card space. Fanatics started their own card business last year after acquiring licenses with organizations that, in addition to MLB and MLBPA, included the National Basketball Assn., The National Basketball Players Assn. and National Football League Players Association.
Fanatics’ foray into space comes after a boom in interest in sports cards and other collectibles during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With collectible cards and collectibles being an important pillar in our long term plans to become the leading digital sports platform, we are excited to add a leading collectible card company to grow our business. Said Michael Rubin, CEO of Fanatics.
The Topps sale does not include its candy and greeting card divisions, such as the classic chewing gum brand Bazooka. These companies will continue to be owned by Eisner’s Tornante and Madison Dearborn Partners, and have been renamed Bazooka Cos.
Eisner, who was CEO of Disney from 1984 until his release in 2005, acquired Topps with Madison Dearborn in 2007 for $ 385 million through Tornante. Topps was founded in 1938.
“Like any Jewel in the Crown, my Madison Dearborn partners and I will miss our many years of ownership where we have built a very profitable business through strategic licensing partnerships, global expansion and digital transformation,” said Eisner in a press release.