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Blackstone Tactical Opportunities to Acquire the Certified Collectibles Group

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KeyDate1/2ozPandas:
The implication the cost of grading is going to go up, up, up. 

https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/9253/

Blackstone (NYSE:BX) announced today that funds managed by its Tactical Opportunities business (“Blackstone”) have agreed to acquire a majority stake in the Certified Collectibles Group (“CCG”) in a transaction valuing the company at more than $500 million. Mark Salzberg, CCG’s founder, and Steven R. Eichenbaum, CCG’s CEO, will retain a significant minority stake. Additional investors in today’s transaction include Roc Nation; Michael Rubin, Founder and Executive Chairman of Fanatics; SC.Holdings, a growth equity platform; Mastry, founded by Rudy Cline-Thomas; Andre Iguodala; Daryl Morey, President of Basketball Operations for the Philadelphia 76ers; and Main Street Advisors, a leading investment advisory firm to prominent athletes, recording artists, and other leaders across entertainment and business.

CCG is a leading, global provider of expert, impartial and tech-enabled services that add value and liquidity to collectibles. Founded in 1987, CCG offers authentication, grading and conservation services that have unlocked billions of dollars in secondary market value. Today, CCG sits at the forefront of the fast-growing global collectibles industry with offices on three continents, robust digital offerings and comprehensive certification services for collectibles.

Blackstone will seek to accelerate CCG’s growth, enabling the company to invest significantly in its current and planned services, adding and training new employees, expanding its geographic and product reach, acquiring new technologies and developing its digital presence. Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms with nearly $650 billion in assets under management and a strong track record of creating value and a positive impact for the companies it acquires and the communities that they serve.

C. C. Melvin Ike, Principal at Blackstone, said: “As thematic investors, we look for exceptional entrepreneurial teams succeeding in growing markets, and CCG is a great example. We have been closely following the rise of the global physical and digital collectibles industry for several years and we were drawn to CCG because of their leadership role in the categories that they serve, and Blackstone’s ability to grow the platform through both organic and inorganic initiatives. We look forward to working together to help the company continue and even accelerate its impressive growth trajectory.”

CCG’s leadership team will remain in place, combining their experience and expertise with Blackstone’s extensive resources. Over the last 35 years, CCG has expanded from collectible coins to comic books, banknotes, magazines, concert posters, stamps, trading cards, sports cards and estate items. CCG has certified more than 62 million of these collectibles, with a combined fair market value approaching $50 billion.

Mark Salzberg, founder of CCG, said: “When I established CCG, I had a vision that we would transform collectibles into an asset class that is trusted by collectors, dealers and investors around the world. It has been incredible to be a part of this journey as we achieved and then exceeded these goals. I am excited to join with Blackstone as we enter the next phase of growth for CCG and the collectibles market.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Blackstone during this key point in the industry as the collectibles market continues to accelerate and attract new collectors and investors,” added Steven R. Eichenbaum, CEO at CCG. “From the moment we met the Blackstone team, we could tell that we shared the same vision for the future of our company and the global collectibles industry.”

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to CCG. Duane Morris acted as legal advisor to CCG. Weil, Gotshal & Manges acted as lead legal advisor to Blackstone. Golub Capital led the financing for the transaction.

PandaCollector:
Plenty of off-the-record discussion about this today. Thanks Arif.

Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
China Pricepedia — Chinese Coin Prices and` More
The Gold & Silver Panda Coin Buyer’s Guide
Home of the Valentine Panda
PCGS Consultant
www.pandacollector.com

Bsandersen:
Huge move by CGC!  It's going to be very exciting to see where this goes, especially with thoughts of global expansion.

KeyDate1/2ozPandas:
The pressure from collector universe going private with a huge bankroll, put CGC in a tough spot.  I am sure in 5 years we will see blackstone IPO their purchase at 1.5B-$2.0B valuation.

pandamonium:
Basically, for us small fry, the future is rare numismatic coins?......

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