Topps Co Inc, a sports and entertainment collectible firm backed by former Walt Disney Co Chief Michael Eisner, said on Tuesday it will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal valuing the combined company at $1.3 billion.

The deal with Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corp II, or MUDS, will generate gross proceeds of $571 million, including a $250 million private investment led by Mudrick Capital and institutional investors such as GAMCO Investors and Wells Capital Management, among others.

Shares of MUDS, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), were up more than 7% at $10.57 in pre-market trade.

Known for its sports trading cards, 80-year-old Topps is looking to increase its presence in the e-commerce and digital apps industry through blockchain technology or non-fungible token (NFT)-based initiatives.

NFTs are digital assets which can be bought and sold and whose authenticity can be verified with blockchain technology.

Eisner, who bought Topps through his firm The Tornante Company in 2007, will remain Chairman of the combined company. Additionally, Tornante will roll its entire equity investment in Topps into the combined entity.

 Source: Reuters

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