July 11, 2006
What Ever Happened to Bazooka Bubble Gum?
Posted by Fred Tung

Remember Bazooka bubble gum and baseball cards?  Where have they gone?  That's what Pembridge Capital Management wants to know. 

Pembridge has helped organize a proxy fight at Topps, the baseball cards and bubble gum company.  Pembridge and another hedge fund have formed the Topps Full Value Committee to propose their own slate of directors.  According to its letter to shareholders, gum sales for Topps have dropped 60% over a twenty-one year period.  In 1985, gum sales hit $26.2 MM.  In 2006, they were at $10 MM.  Even a Topps managing director admitted that the company had "almost missed an entire generation" by failing actively to market the Bazooka brand.  "Bazooka disappeared from the airwaves and virtually all other forms of communication for over a decade."  Apparently, Bazooka can't be sold to big box warehouse stores like Costco because their retail prices for bubble gum were lower than Topps' manufacturing costs.

Pembridge is pushing for asset sales as well as seats on the board.

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