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Eisner enters the baseball card business

Former Disney CEO's privately held firm part of group that purchased venerable trading card manufacturer Topps in a deal worth $385.4 million.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A company headed by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner is part of a group that has agreed to acquire baseball card maker Topps Company Inc. in a deal worth $385.4 million.

Under the agreement, The Tornante Co., a privately held company that Eisner founded in 2005, and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC will pay Topps (Charts) stockholders $9.75 per share in cash, representing about an 8 percent premium over Monday's closing price. The company's board has already approved the agreement, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

In addition to being the leading sports card manufacturer, Topps also manufactures collectible games and confectionery brands like Bazooka bubble gum as well as the Ring Pop, Push Pop, Baby Bottle Pop and Juicy Drop Pop.

"Topps is a wonderful company with a powerful brand portfolio and a rich history," Eisner said in a statement. "Topps' management team and employees are the best in the business, and we look forward to working with all of them to grow the company in new and exciting ways."

Eisner served as Disney (Charts)'s CEO for 11 years before resigning under heavy criticism in 2005.

Topps, whose shares fell 1 percent in Monday trading, also competes in the confectionery business against William Wrigley Jr. Co. (Charts)

Dearborn Partners is a leading private equity firm and invests primarily through its most recent fund, Madison Dearborn Capital Partners V, a $6.5 billion investment fund raised in 2006. Top of page

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