Entrust Global Group, parent company of Beckett, is acquiring one of North America’s top trading card distributors.
Southern Hobby works with more than 1,000 hobby and specialty stores from its home base in Nashville. Now in its 31st year, the company supplies stores with trading cards and supplies.
Southern Hobby also operates distribution centers in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and Reno.
The Southern Hobby acquisition is the 14th completed by Entrust during the past seven years and increases the portfolio’s annualized revenue to nearly $1 billion.
“We are thrilled to welcome the great team at Southern Hobby into our aggressively growing portfolio,” said Sandeep Dua, Entrust’s founder and group CEO. “The dominant leading indicator for our growth has been our unrelenting focus on our core values, our people and our expansion strategy. With this winning combination, we are committed to fuel the growth of Southern Hobby by adding more market share and extending its branches globally to increase its dominant position in the dynamic distribution space for collectibles and gaming.”
Southern Hobby owners Jim Austin, Bob Austin, Chris Austin and Brad Wagoner said they chose Entrust “after observing its investment in employees and business partnerships” including Beckett’s grading and authentication brands.
“Our objective was to find the right company that shares the same core values that our associates, our manufacturer partners and our awesome customers have grown to expect from Southern Hobby Supply. The Entrust Global Group is that company,” Wagoner said.
Wagoner and Chris Austin will remain with the new company in their current roles as Chief Operating Officer and President, respectively. Kevin Isaacson, founder of The Industry Summit collectibles conference and current COO of Entrust, will join Southern Hobby as CEO.
“Entrust Global will build on the success of Southern Hobby through increased investments in our associates as well as innovation to accommodate the ever-changing landscape,” said Chris Austin. “We will continue to challenge ourselves to be the very best distributor and ambassador for all of our industry partners.”