This $700m deal proves that collectible cards are no joke

Billionaire Steve Cohen and entrepreneur Nat Turner are taking Collectors Universe -- a 3rd party collectibles authentication service -- private.


December 2, 2020

This is the most valuable advice you may get today: Go to your closet and pull out that box of old sports trading cards. 

You might have gold.

From 2016 to 2019, card sales on eBay jumped 40%, to $600m+, according to ESPN. This year, the wave of liquidity from pandemic stimulus — and the rise of secondary markets like StockX — has the card biz on fire some notable sales:

  • MLB’s Mike Trout ($3.84m)
  • NBA’s Giannis Antetokounmpo ($1.86m)
  • NBA’s LeBron James ($1.8m and $1.08m)

Now, a major collectibles appraiser has cashed in

Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen just teamed up with entrepreneur Nat Turner to acquire Collectors Universe, a leading 3rd-party collectible authentication and grading service.

The deal is valued at ~$700m, which is triple Collectors’ market cap from just one year ago.

The company claims its various designations — like PCGS (for coins) and PSA (sports cards) — boost sale values at auction.

Latest quarterly sales were up 52% YoY…

… totaling $30.8m, which puts it on an annual run rate of $120m+, double its 2015 revenue of $62m.

Collectors’ latest earnings call suggests the firm has more growth coming: It has a huge backlog of authentication requests and is doubling its facilities (to 126k+ square feet) to accommodate demand.

So, if you find something in that shoebox, definitely send it to us and we’ll send it along for you…

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