Fanatics Pried Baseball Cards from Topps. Now fanatics are buying tops.


When the news broke last summer that Fanatics Inc. was ready to upgrade the trading card industry, longtime baseball fans wondered what it meant for Topps Co. The iconic company had been synonymous with baseball cards for more than 70 years, a race that seemed fateful in the end when Fanatics lured away Topp’s key licensees.

But Topp’s baseball card will live on – as part of Fanatics. The sporting goods retailer has entered into an agreement to buy Topps’ trading card business from Michael Eisner’s Tornante Co. LLC and private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners., Enabling Fanatics to keep the top brand alive. The purchase price was $ 500 million, said people familiar with the matter.

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