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Baseball Card Maker Has New Owner

NEW YORK (AP) - The Topps Co., maker of baseball cards and Bazooka bubble gum, agreed to accept a $385.4 million takeover offer from a buyout group that includes former Disney chief executive Michael Eisner.

Topps, founded in 1938, makes trading cards featuring athletes of Major League Baseball, the NFL and NBA.

Eisner was CEO of The Walt Disney Co. for two decades until he stepped down in 2005. Disney owns theme parks, movie studios and the ABC, ESPN and Disney TV networks.

The deal drew immediate opposition from Topps director Arnaud Ajdler, who said Tuesday he had not yet been in touch with other major shareholders. He thought the deal should be abandoned because negotiations did not go through a proper process and that the Eisner-led offer undervalues the company.

The board approved the deal in a 7-3 vote, with Ajdler and two others opposed. The company said it will solicit better offers over the next 40 days. The deal requires regulatory approval and a vote by Topps shareholders.


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