Collectors Universe Taken Private
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Collectors Universe Taken Private

An investor group led by D1 Capital Partners, Cohen Private Ventures, and entrepreneur Nat Turner has agreed to acquire publicly traded Collectors Universe for $700 million.

Collectors Universe (NASDAQ: CLCT) is a provider of authenticating and grading services for collectible coins, trading cards, event tickets, autographs and other memorabilia.

The company operates through three divisions – Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS); Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) in the sports and trading cards market; and PSA/DNA Autograph Authentication and Grading Services in the autographs and memorabilia market.

The company also compiles and publishes information about United States and world coins, collectible trading cards and sports memorabilia; operates a certified coin exchange (CCE) dealer-to-dealer Internet market for certified coins; and produces a series of trade shows and conventions. Collectors Universe, led by CEO Joseph Orlando, was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Santa Ana, California.

For the trailing twelve months ending September 2020, Collectors Universe had revenues of $79 million and EBITDA of $20 million. Using this information, the EBITDA valuation multiple for this transaction is 35.0x.

“Collectors Universe has firmly established itself as an industry leader, with the strongest and best-known brands in authentication and grading services,” said Mr. Orlando. “As we look to our next chapter, I’m excited to partner with Nat, a fellow lifelong collector and hobbyist whose passion for the collectibles space and substantial experience scaling technology businesses will help position Collectors Universe to drive continued growth and success in our PSA and PCGS brands over the long-term.

Nat Turner is an investor and the founder of Invite Media, an ad technology company that was sold to Google in 2010.  In 2012, he co-founded and was CEO of Flatiron Health, a healthcare IT company focused on accelerating research in oncology, that was sold to the Roche Group in 2018. Mr. Turner is an avid sports card collector, ranging from modern basketball to vintage baseball and golf cards.

“Collecting sports cards and connecting with like-minded hobbyists has been a lifelong passion,” said Mr. Turner. “I have tremendous respect for the high-quality services Collectors Universe provides and the leadership position its talented team, led by Joe Orlando, has built. We are committed to bringing the resources and expertise necessary to expand the company’s operational capacity and technological capabilities, while enhancing the accuracy and consistency for which Collectors Universe is known.”

“After careful consideration, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that reflects the remarkable value creation Collectors Universe has achieved through its consistent execution during these challenging times,” said A.J. “Bert” Moyer, the chairman of Collectors Universe’s board of directors. “This transaction will deliver an immediate cash premium to our shareholders, and create exciting opportunities for our employees, collectors and dealers around the world.”

New York-based D1 Capital Partners was founded as a family office in 2018 by billionaire Dan Sundheim, the former chief investment officer at Viking Global Investors. The firm invests in the internet, technology, telecom, media, consumer, healthcare, financial, industrial, and real estate sectors.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Cohen Private Ventures was founded as a family office in 2014 by billionaire Steven Cohen, the founder of Point72 Asset Management and the now-closed S.A.C. Capital Advisors.

Houlihan Lokey is the financial advisor to Collectors Universe and Allen & Company is the financial advisor to the investor group.

The buy of Collectors Universe by D1 Capital Partners, Cohen Private Ventures, and Mr. Turner is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | December 2, 2020

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