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A Baseball Card SPAC Shows Why Distressed Investing Is So Hard

April 23, 2021, 11:00 AM

Jason Mudrick’s goal was clear.

The prospectus for his blank-check company, which he listed on Nasdaq in December, mentioned “distressed” 40 times. Everybody in the industry knows Mudrick Capital Management LP invests in troubled businesses. And a pandemic was raging, so you’d think the list of stumbling firms to choose from would’ve been long for any turnaround specialist.

Instead, Mudrick ended up in baseball cards, which Covid-19 had turned into a booming hobby, by merging his special purpose acquisition company with Topps Co., the iconic cardmaker co-owned by Michael Eisner since 2007.

“Topps is absolutely not distressed at ...

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