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The US company wants to merge with a so-called Special Purpose Acquisition Company – SPAC for short – through the back door to NASDAQ as it announced on Tuesday in New York. Topps is valued at around 1.3 billion dollars (1.1 billion euros) in the deal.
The group, founded in 1938 and controlled by an investment company owned by the former Disney boss Michael Eisner, has made a name for itself primarily with collectibles. The Panini rival offers stickers and trading cards from various sports leagues, but also from a number of areas of the entertainment world – such as Star Wars or Marvel’s superheroes. The collector’s pictures were once intended to accompany the bazooka chewing gum, which used to be Topps’ main product.
In view of the current crypto hype about cyber currencies such as Bitcoin and the associated blockchain technology, Topps recently expanded into the booming NFT market for digital art and collectibles. NFT (non-fungible token) are something like digital certificates of authenticity that are secured with a blockchain data chain. Topps increased its revenues last year according to its own information by 23 percent to 567 million dollars (479 million euros).
SPACs – often referred to as blank check companies – are initially just empty company shells. They list their shares as placeholders in order to later be merged with companies and thus to bring them to the stock exchange. Business is booming in the USA, in 2021 such financial vehicles raised 97.3 billion dollars – more than in the entire previous year, according to the analysis company SPAC Research. Recently there have been increasing warnings from experts about a SPAC bubble.
/ hbr / DP / fba
NEW YORK (dpa-AFX)
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