The Daily Dish (4/6/21)
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Baseball card company Topps to go public through SPAC deal as it ventures into NFTs
Topps, which is best known for its baseball cards and Bazooka candy line, has agreed to go public through a merger with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II $MUDS, a special purpose acquisition company, that values Topps at $1.3 billion.
Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner will remain on as Topps’ chairman.
The combined company will be known as Topps and will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker TOPP. The New York Times’ Dealbook was the first to report the bargain.
Topps’ net sales rose 23 percent in 2020 to $567 million, a record high for the company.
While Topps is famous for its sports trading cards, it has branched out into interactive mobile programs to connect collectors and recently expanded into nonfungible tokens.
Executives told Dealbook that the Topps deal was not because of its recent growth in NFTs, although sports-related NFTs have been surging.
Topps also has a gift cards business under the name Topps Digital Services, where it works with companies like Netflix, Airbnb and Nike.
Playboy Is Launching NFTs Via a Nifty Gateway Partnership
Playboy $PLBY is set to join the growing list of companies launching non-fungible tokens, through a partnership with Nifty Gateway, a popular online marketplace for NFTs. The company, famous for its magazine and iconic bunny emblem, told Insider it plans to use the partnership to showcase its art and photography archive and to release original works from artists on Nifty’s blockchain marketplace.
Playboy joins a growing list of media organizations starting NFTs. In just the past month, Quartz sold a news post as an NFT for $1,800, Associated Press sold an NFT art for approximately $180,000, and The New York Times auctioned a post from columnist Kevin Roose, which increased over half a million dollars for charity.
While Playboy is probably best associated with provocative centerfold images and the famous Playboy mansion, over the past 67 years that the magazine company has also showcased works from iconic artists – from Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol, and Salvador Dali to LeRoy Nieman.
Playboy is now working on launching NFTs with crypto artists including Blake Kathyrn and Slimesunday.
Beyond art, Playboy’s NFTs could expand to interviews or a ticket into a virtual mansion encounter, Webber added.
Playboy says it ranks as one of the leading male streetwear brands in China and last year Playboy ranked 21st on the yearly top 150 global licensors report, before the likes of Pokemon and Ferrari.
NFTs provide another platform for Playboy to reach new audiences online and boost the appeal of its brand, according to Webber.
Former Credit Suisse exec backed SPAC to take robotics firm Sarcos public By Reuters
Sarcos Robotics Inc said on Tuesday it will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm backed by former Credit Suisse USA chief Brian Finn, in a deal valuing the combined company at $1.3 billion.
The deal with Rotor Acquisition Corp $ROT is expected to bring Sarcos with about $496 million in proceeds, including a private investment of $220 million from BlackRock Inc, Millennium Management, Palantir Technologies Inc and Rotor CEO Ben Wolff, among others.
Utah-based Sarcos is a developer of wearable robotics equipment designed to help public and private sector workers lift heavy things and reduce injuries at the workplace.
Earlier this year, SoftBank-backed robotics company Berkshire Grey also said it would go public via a blank-check company merger, which appreciated the combined company at $2.7 billion.
Rotor, a special purpose acquisition company, raised $276 million through an initial public offering in January.
Jefferies and PJT Partners are acting as financial advisors to Sarcos, and Credit Suisse to Rotor.