Mile High Card Co.

The Topps Vote: 53% Favor Sale to New Owners

It was no slam dunk, but the vote to sell Topps to a new group of owners is official.

The Topps Co. Inc. has certified the results of a shareholder vote last week that allows Michael Eisner’s Tornante Co. and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC to assume control of the nation’s oldest sports card maker.

The deal, which was opposed by a group of dissatisfied board members, was approved by shareholders after the company delayed the special meeting several times while attempting to build support for the deal and Upper Deck Co. withdrew its offer of $10.75 per share.

Topps said on Tuesday that 53.4 percent of the 38.77 million outstanding shares were voted in favor of the takeover. The company had needed a simply majority.

Roughly 6 percent of shares were owned by hedge fund Crescendo Partners, which had opposed the deal by arguing the price was too low and the process of picking the buyers was flawed. The group said after the vote it would continue to challenge the outcome on the basis of management’s actions. However, the deal is expected to close sometime next month.

Topps’ chief executive, Arthur Shorin, agreed to step down if the merger was approved. Some high ranking Topps executives are expected to keep their jobs now that Eisner’s group has taken over.

Eisner is a former chief executive of The Walt Disney Co. He started Tornante to invest in media and entertainment opportunities.


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