Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 25 No. 128
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Card Sharks: Upper Deck Buys Rights To Fleer Name, Inventory

Warren Martin, the lawyer overseeing the sale of Fleer’s assets, said that Upper Deck will pay $6.1M for the rights to Fleer’s “intellectual property and die-cast toy business,” according to Richard Bloom of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Fleer went out of business in May after accumulating nearly $40M in debt. Upper Deck attempted to buy Fleer for $25M in ’03, but Fleer rejected the bid because “business was starting to improve.” Fleer’s remaining sports memorabilia will be auctioned off at a later date. Proceeds from the auctions “will go to a list of creditors that include dozens of professional athletes” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 7/16). In Philadelphia, Mitch Lipka noted the deal includes Fleer’s name, trademark and sports collectibles business, which had an inventory valued at over $1M. Upper Deck started bidding at $2M and competition “lasted nearly 12 hours” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/16). Analysts said that Upper Deck “likely will be able to immediately recoup some of its investment” due to the inventory it acquired. However, more problematic will be “how to deal with thousands of sports fans owed highly collectible autographed cards” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/16).