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crazy4wdw
03-06-2007, 11:23 AM
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.
March 6 2007: 8:27 AM EST

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 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.

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.

All Aboard
03-06-2007, 04:12 PM
Eisner served as Disney (Charts)'s CEO for 11 years before resigning under heavy criticism in 2005. Gosh, it sure seemed longer.

Anybody know how to photoshop a Derek Jeter bobblehead into a snowglobe?

Horace Horsecollar
03-06-2007, 05:00 PM
Gosh, it sure seemed longer.
It was longer. Someone at CNNMoney.com needs a remedial arithmetic lesson.

Eisner was CEO of The Walt Disney Company from September 1984 to September 2005. That looks like about 21 years to me.

2Xited4Disney
03-06-2007, 06:55 PM
Eisner is so wierd....

flyinglizard
03-06-2007, 11:14 PM
Hmmm... I would expect trading cards to go to $1.00 a pack, with one card inside... no gum.

Not sure what production budgets he'll cut, but he is good at that.

Expect him to build the company, siphon off the top and then sell it!

Good-Bye Topps... an American tradition for many years.

HarambeGuy
03-07-2007, 10:16 AM
Hmmm... I would expect trading cards to go to $1.00 a pack, with one card inside... no gum.

Not sure what production budgets he'll cut, but he is good at that.

Expect him to build the company, siphon off the top and then sell it!

Good-Bye Topps... an American tradition for many years.

Um, the gum is already long gone and you're lucky to get 2-3 quality cards for a dollar as it is. And forget about collecting all the cards of your favorite player. There are so many companies and so many product lines out there that each star player is featured on scores of cards annually - many of them randomly inserted as prizes in the overpriced packs. I gave up on the baseball card hobby quite a while ago.

Seriously, greed is already so pervasive in that industry that a guy like Eisner is not going to have much of an impact.

DancingBear
03-07-2007, 10:44 AM
It was longer. Someone at CNNMoney.com needs a remedial arithmetic lesson.

Eisner was CEO of The Walt Disney Company from September 1984 to September 2005. That looks like about 21 years to me.Yeah, it'd be more accurate to say that Eisner endured (ignored?) 11 years of criticism before resigning as CEO.

EUROPACL
03-07-2007, 11:59 AM
11 YEARS that seems to put it around 1994 isn't that when Frank Wells died? Maybe it was some kind of Freudian slip by the writer.

Another Voice
03-07-2007, 12:29 PM
That may be the clue. Eisner took over a couple additional titles when Frank Wells passed away. I'll have to look it all up, but I thought that Eisner was CEO and Wells was President - after the accident Eisner became CEO, President and Chairman of the Board.

Eisner awarded himself coporate titles like a tinpot dictator awards himself medals. It's going to take an effort to untangle.

Horace Horsecollar
03-07-2007, 01:02 PM
I'll have to look it all up, but I thought that Eisner was CEO and Wells was President - after the accident Eisner became CEO, President and Chairman of the Board.
Frank Wells joined Disney as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 1984, posts that he held until his tragic death in 1994.

According to Michael Eisner's biography (http://corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/bios/michael_d_eisner.html) at Disney's Corporate Information site, Michael Eisner was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 1984 to September 2005 and Chairman of the Board from 1984 to March 2004.

In other words, Eisner joined Disney as CEO and Chairman in 1984. Frank Wells was never CEO or Chairman.

In 1995, Eisner tried to fill the position of President of Disney with his friend Michael Ovitz. Officially, that lasted 14 months; in reality Ovitz never really took on the functions of a corporate president. It turned out Eisner had made a bad choice.

After that, the position of President of The Walt Disney Company was vacant until 2000, when Robert Iger became President. (Iger became CEO in 2005).

Another Voice
03-07-2007, 01:27 PM
Then I think Eisner took Frank's COO title then (it's like a soap opera there behind the drawves).

Also in the mix was that Jeffrey Katzenberg assumed he would be named either President and/or COO after the death of Frank as well. Eisner's refusal to promote Katzenberg lead to their falling out and the creation of Dreamworks and the effective end of Disney's "major studio" status.

DancingBear
03-07-2007, 02:59 PM
In 1995, Eisner tried to fill the position of President of Disney with his friend Michael Ovitz. Officially, that lasted 14 months; in reality Ovitz never really took on the functions of a corporate president. It turned out Eisner had made a bad choice.Ovitz was a bad choice AND Eisner undercut him.

http://www.slate.com/id/2105223

raidermatt
03-07-2007, 07:48 PM
Ovitz was a bad choice AND Eisner undercut him.

Yeah, but he had a hell of an office, or so I hear.

EUROPACL
03-07-2007, 08:15 PM
Yeah, but he had a hell of an office, or so I hear.

He also got a hell of a payday....just think how many direct to video movies or Bad Company II sequels we could have got with that money. Just think Go.com could have gone on for another 3 months!!!!!