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Fanatics hits $27 billion valuation, adds BlackRock, Michael Dell as investors

Fanatics Founder/Executive Chairman Michael Rubin attends Fanatics Super Bowl Party at College Football Hall of Fame on February 2, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mike Coppola | Getty Images

Michael Rubin’s Fanatics raised $1.5 billion in a new funding round that values the sports merchandise company at $27 billion. The company was most recently valued at $18 billion less than a year ago.

Its latest funding round includes new investors Fidelity, BlackRock and Michael Dell’s MSD Partners, as well as existing investors. The investment was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. A source familiar with the deal confirmed the details to CNBC.

A representative for Fanatics declined to comment.

Rubin, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, started the Jacksonville, Florida-based company in 2011. That same year, he sold a sports e-commerce business to eBay for $2.4 billion, bought back parts of it and acquired Fanatics — which back then was a two-store retail operation. Fanatics now has exclusive licensing deals with the NFL, NHL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and scores of colleges and universities to make and sell jerseys, caps, and tons of other official team merchandise.

Earlier this year, the company acquired Topps trading cards for $500 million. Fanatics’ trading card entity is valued at $10 billion after a $350 million round of funding last September. Rubin called Topps an iconic brand in a statement announcing the move.

Fanatics is a two-time CNBC Disruptor 50 company. Sign up for our weekly, original newsletter that goes beyond the annual Disruptor 50 list, offering a closer look at private companies like Fanatics, and founders like Rubin who continue to innovate across every sector of the economy.

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