Collectors Universe, parent company of PSA, is being sold to an investor group led by entrepreneur and sports card collector Nat Turner for approximately $700 million. D1 Capital Partners L.P., and Cohen Private Ventures, LLC will acquire all of the Company’s outstanding shares of common stock for $75.25 per share in cash. Cohen Private Ventures is oversees certain family office activities for, and invests capital on behalf of, Steven A. Cohen and his family. Cohen is the new owner of the New York Mets.
Joe Orlando, President and CEO of Collectors Universe, will continue to lead Collectors Universe, which will retain its headquarters in Santa Ana, California.
“After careful consideration, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that reflects the remarkable value creation Collectors Universe has achieved through its consistent execution during these challenging times,” said A.J. “Bert” Moyer, Chairman of the Collectors Universe Board of Directors. “This transaction will deliver an immediate cash premium to our shareholders, and create exciting opportunities for our employees, collectors and dealers around the world.”
Turner is a 34-year-old tech entrepreneur and angel investor known for buying and selling companies for big profits. In 2o18, he sold Flatiron Health, a data-science software company, for approximately $2 billion. An avid collector of high-end basketball cards, he is expected to take on an active role in directing the company’s future.
The surge in collecting interest in recent years has resulted in a huge increase in submissions of trading cards at PSA, with the company facing months-long backlogs, despite hiring dozens of new workers this year alone. Competitors SGC and Beckett are also dealing with record levels of business and a fourth company will enter the fray within weeks when Certified Collectibles Group launches its trading card division. PSA’s revenue growth has been explosive, but it’s clear from the deal that Turner’s group believes the market won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
“As we look to our next chapter, I’m excited to partner with Nat, a fellow lifelong collector and hobbyist whose passion for the collectibles space and substantial experience scaling technology businesses will help position Collectors Universe to drive continued growth and success in our PSA and PCGS brands over the long-term,” Orlando said. “This transaction is a testament to the value that all of Collectors Universe’s talented employees have built. As we transition from a public to a private company, in partnership with Nat and a group of world-class financial investors and sports and collectibles enthusiasts, our customers will continue to see the same level of integrity, transparency, service and high-quality solutions that they expect from Collectors Universe.”
“Collecting sports cards and connecting with like-minded hobbyists has been a lifelong passion,” said Turner. “I have tremendous respect for the high-quality services Collectors Universe provides and the leadership position its talented team, led by Joe Orlando, has built. We are committed to bringing the resources and expertise necessary to expand the Company’s operational capacity and technological capabilities, while enhancing the accuracy and consistency for which Collectors Universe is known.”
Turner told SC Daily he didn’t want to comment further until the deal closes.
The transaction represents a premium of approximately 30% over CU’s 60-day volume-weighted average price ended on November 25, the last full trading day before Monday’s announcement. The transaction, which was approved by the company’s board of directors, represents fully diluted equity value of approximately $700 million, and is not subject to any financing contingency.
The transaction is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2021.