By Michelle Chapman | The Associated Press
Major League Baseball ends a 70-year relationship with trading card company Topps after signing a new partnership with a rival company.
The loss of the MLB partnership immediately scuttled a deal announced earlier this year that would have made Topps a publicly traded company.
Specialist acquisition firm Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II said on Friday that its deal to merge Topps to make the company public was terminated by mutual agreement after finding out that MLB and the league’s players union would not renew. not their respective agreements with The Topps Co. when they are renewed at the end of 2025 and 2022, respectively.
ESPN reported on Thursday that it had obtained a Major League Baseball Players Association memo that a company created by sports products company Fanatics that has yet to be named will be the exclusive holder of the baseball cards once its licensing agreements are made. current will expire at the end of next year. The Fanatics deal also includes player unions from the National Basketball League and the National Football League, ESPN reported.
Fanatics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The proposed deal with Mudrick would have made Topps a state-owned company. Topps, which was acquired in 2007 by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner through his company, The Tornante Co., said in a statement Friday that it would now remain private.
Topps said it expects to be able to manufacture nearly all of its current licensed baseball products through 2025.
The company, established in 1938, is best known for baseball cards. But Topps also manufactures products for Major League Soccer, UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga, National Hockey League, Formula 1, Star Wars and WWE and Garbage Pail Kids. Its confectionery division owns brands such as Ring Pop, Push Pop and Bazooka bubble gum.