Panini buys Donruss

10 03 2009

As rumored back in Febuary, today Panini finalized it’s deal to take over Donruss.

The Sports Card File has some of the insight leading up to the deal and helps clear up the rumor about Upper Deck selling itself to Panini as well.  At the same time Upper Deck was trying to purchase Donruss themselves, they tried to get Panini to buy them.  I take this as a stalling tacit on UD’s part so they could emerge as the victors out of this, and it simply didn’t work.

You’ll see some other people break this down, too, and I think the key points will be mostly unanimous.

1) It’s good for Panini to have an established place of operations in the U.S. rather than having to build their own.

2) Panini can now use some of Donruss creative to help with their new basketball card contract.

3) How in the world does this affect the Donruss-MLBP lawsuit, and will Panini continue to produce “Donruss” non licensed baseball cards?

I’m more interested  in the later.  I can’t imagine Panini would buy Donruss without an idea in mind on where to go with the suit, and my non-lawschooled gut thinks we’ll see a settlement agreement that allows them to keep churning out non-licensed products in return for a large lump sum.  Either way, I don’t see Panini winning a MLB license anytime soon.

I haven’t bought a basketball card ever and the last Donruss card I purchased was in 1993, so this won’t affect me much.  It does pique my interest for the first round of basketball cards, though.  I can;t help but wonder how much of the design will say Donruss even though the new name on top will be Panini.

*UPDATED*  Or, not…

“[Those rumors] are not true,” said Panini Group Licensing Director Peter Warsop on Wednesday. “We are in discussion but nothing has been finalized at this time.”

*UPDATED 3/13/09* It’s offical.

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