An investor group that includes not only wealthy businessmen but current and former professional athletes has completed its purchase of PSA’s parent company and installed one of its own as Executive Chairman of the company’s board of directors.
The group that’s buying CU is headed by entrepreneur and sports card collector Nat Turner, and also includes D1 Capital Partners L.P., and Cohen Private Ventures. Other members of the Investor Group include The Chernin Group, which recently made a $40 million investment in Goldin Auctions as well as card collector and owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks Ken Kendrick, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and former World #1 tennis player Andy Roddick, among others. Durant’s Thirty-Five Ventures was among those who also invested in the modern trading card marketplace StarStock last year. Watson and Durant were among the investors in Goldin.
Turner, the co-founder and CEO of Flatiron Health, has been appointed Executive Chairman of CU’s board.
PSA hasn’t been able to keep up with submissions from customers and announced last year it was facing a one million item backlog despite taking steps to try to increase efficiency.
Turner called the transaction “an exciting new chapter” in the history of Collectors Universe, which also grades coins and other collectibles. He promised the group will be working to shorten customer wait times for grading and authentication services, which are currently stretching several months beyond where they should be.
“The collectibles markets require scalable, modern infrastructure to support the maturation of the industry, increasing value of collectibles, and substantial demand for grading and authentication services,” Turner stated. “As a private company, we will have the flexibility to further invest in infrastructure, technology and R&D to reduce turnaround times and increase operational capacity, while protecting and enhancing the integrity and consistency of Collectors Universe’s best-in-class services.”
Joe Orlando will continue to serve as President and CEO of Collectors Universe.
“I look forward to working closely with a passionate collector and experienced technology executive in Nat, as well as with our talented employees, to continue to strengthen our core business, develop new value-added products and services, and expand Collectors Universe’s presence both domestically and abroad,” he stated.
The roster of additional investors was a bit of a surprise but continues to show the increased interest athletes currently have in sports collectibles.
“I am proud to be joined by a premier group of financial investors and some of the foremost athletes and collectors to build upon Collectors Universe’s market leadership,” Turner remarked. “Together, we look forward to bringing hobbyists a tech-enabled, customer-centric business that is delivered by the collecting community, for the collecting community.”