The days of Topps being run by the same family appear to be coming to a close. The company announced today that its board had voted to accept a $385.4 million buyout offer from The Tornante Co. LLC, a group founded by former Disney head executive Michael Eisner. As part of the deal, CEO Arthur T. Shorin has agreed to retire, ending his family's run of almost 70 years guiding Topps.
If the deal goes through, it could be finalized by the end of this year. It's certainly big news from a business standpoint, but is it likely to affect the sports cards that have made Topps famous? Probably not. Topps is a large company that makes almost as much revenue from its Confectionery segment as it does from its Entertainment division - which includes non-sports cards and WizKids games as well as sports cards. Add that to the fact that the Topps brand is the most well-known name in the industry and it's pretty unlikely that a new management group would come in and change anything that collectors would notice.
Be that as it may, it's still a story that, at least for a day, has taken the attention of the collecting world away from the cards and focused it on the people who make them.