Parent Company of PSA, Leader in Card Grading, Sells For $700 Million
Kris Connor/Getty Images. Pictured: Baseball cards
Collectors Universe, parent company of PSA, announced Monday an agreement to sell the company for approximately $700 million to a group of investors including entrepreneur and collector Nat Turner. The group, which will take the company private, also includes the family office of new New York Mets owner Steven Cohen.
The deal represents a roughly 30% premium over the weighted stock price over the last two months.
PSA, which is the leader in grading cards, tickets and autographs, turned into one of the hottest businesses during COVID-19 as the sports memorabilia business skyrocketed. So many people sent their cards to PSA to get graded that the economy service slowed down to a return of as long as six months. Despite hiring new graders, backlogs became commonplace.
But, as business on eBay picked up, those ranging from people who found everything from vintage cards to basketball cards plucked fresh out a pack, knew they had to get their cards immediately graded in order to sell them.
In June, Texas-based hedge fund Alta Fox, which owned 5.4% of the the company, attempted to overthrow the entire company board, saying that despite being able to maintain their market position, it wasn’t doing enough to capitalize. Alta Fox suggested that Turner should be on the board. Collectors Universe added two more board seats in a settlement to appease the group.
Turner is expected to inject more life into the business. He’s one of the largest sports card collectors in the world, not only in graded basketball and baseball cards, but owns more unopened boxes of cards than any other individual. Turner sold advertising and exchange bidding company Invite Media to Google in 2010 for $81 million and sold Flatiron Health, a company he co-founded, for $1.9 billion in 2018.
Alta Fox was concerned that the average age of Collector’s Universe board was older than 73 years old. Turner is 34 and has his finger on the pulse of every move.
Not much is known of Cohen’s sports collection, other than the famous Bill Buckner ball from the 1986 World Series. He does own more than $1 billion in art.