If you’re a regular visitor here, you’ve known for weeks that Upper Deck was having high level talks with Topps. But how sincere are they…and does such a deal have any chance of happening? Depends on who you ask.
On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer for Topps to simply sell itself to another trading card manufacturer, even if Upper Deck is like the kid brother who made a bunch of money and now wants to buy the estate.
The deal is especially enticing to those stockholders who simply want to make some cash off of their investment and see the $1 per share difference as enough reason to vote ‘yes’ if it ever comes to that.
If nothing else, it may force the Michael Eisner-led group that made the initial offer to re-think its strategy.
"If the Upper Deck offer firms up, we believe there is a good chance that [Tornante and Madison Dearborn] will raise its bid to meet or exceed the $10.75 [per share] offer," Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Sean McGowan told Reuters News on Thursday.
A deal with Upper Deck would be dependent on approval from antitrust regulators and Major League Baseball, which has the right to designate a new licensee to make baseball cards at any time, McGowan said. As of now, only Topps and Upper Deck have licenses to produce baseball cards.
But according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, James Barrett, an analyst who covers Topps for CL King, predicted that barring any regulatory obstacles, Upper Deck founder and Chairman Richard McWilliam would get his wish of owning Topps.
“If Richard McWilliam is serious about buying Topps at $10.75, then I think it is his company,” Barrett told the paper.
Dealscape’s blogger goes in depth on the business aspect and offers a timeline of what’s led us to the talk about the two card giants getting together.
List of Topps and Upper Deck sports card boxes now on eBay