Upper Deck drops offer to buy Topps

Upper Deck announced Tuesday evening that it has dropped its offer to buy rival card maker Topps.

The decision means Topps shareholders now have only one offer to consider for the company – a $9.75-per-share offer from two equity firms headed by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. That offer was agreed upon by the Topps board last March, but must be approved by a majority of the company’s shareholders. A vote is scheduled to vote on the offer Aug. 30.

Upper Deck launched its hostile takeover attempt of Topps in June, a move that spawned reactions ranging from curiosity among licensors to apprehension from some hobby retailers about how a merger of the industry’s two largest card makers would impact sales.

In recent weeks, the companies have exchanged press releases accusing the other of not being forthright about their intentions. Topps accused Upper Deck of launching a tender offer it believed the company could not, or would not, complete. Upper Deck accused Topps of misleading its shareholders into accepting an inferior offer.

For more on this story, visit Scott Kelnhofer’s blog.

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