Sports trading cards company Topps Co., Inc. (NASDAQ: TOPP) has received an unsolicited offer from rival Upper Deck Co. on Thursday that exceeds the $385 million deal struck with a private equity firm led by former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner.
The offer price of $10.75 a share trumps a bid earlier this year from Eisner, and his group of investors. Topps, which also makes Bazooka bubble gum, and other products said Thursday that it will review the offer.
Eisner's Tornante Co., LLC and the private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC had agreed to pay $9.75 a share, which represented a premium of 9.4 percent when they first made the offer in early March. That deal received regulatory approval on April 3 and has been scheduled for a shareholder vote on June 28.
Some shareholders on the board have opposed the move to take Topps private, however. Instead of accepting the bids, the dissidents would rather install their own directors and management team.
Upper Deck had originally expressed interest during a 40-day go shop period that ended April 14. Topps rejected the offer, citing a number of reasons, including the absence of any information as to whether Upper Deck would be capable of financing its proposed acquisition.
The rival card company now submitted a new highly confident letter from an unnamed commercial bank, along with its offer.
If the Upper Deck offer firms up, we believe there is a good chance that T/MD will raise its bid to meet or exceed the $10.75 offer, analyst Sean McGowan of Wedbush Morgan told clients Friday.
The net effect of all this is that we believe that if a deal is done, it will be at prices higher than the current trading price, and that if a deal is not done, the dissidents will be able to realize much greater value over the next 12-18 months.
Shares of Topps traded slightly lower at $10.21 on the Nasdaq in Friday morning trading, sheding 5 cents, or .49 percent of its opening value.