PSA Parent Company Stuns Hobby World By Acquiring SGC

Two grading competitors will now be owned by the same company. Collectors, the parent company of PSA, rocked the hobby world on Wednesday, announcing it has acquired SGC.

SGC, which started grading cards in 1998, will continue to operate independently and still be run by its existing management team.

1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth Rookie SGC VG 3.
1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth Rookie SGC VG 3. (credit: Robert Edward Auctions)

“This is all about our customers, and we are excited to take this major step forward as we continue to improve SGC’s products and services that collectors have come to love,” says Peter Steinberg, president of SGC, in a media release. “We can’t imagine a more like-minded partner than Collectors to help innovate SGC’s overall offering as a trusted brand and authority in the collectibles industry.”

SGC is well-known for grading vintage cards. The most expensive baseball card ever sold — $12.6 million for a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle — was graded a 9.5 by SGC.

In a video, Steinberg says joining Collectors’ portfolio enhances SGC’s capabilities to “innovate and modernize.”

“Our customer service, turnaround time, grading standards, and deep commitment to the community we serve will not be changing,” notes Steinberg. “Rather, we will be building upon these pillars even further.”

Since Collectors now owns two of the big four grading companies, sports business reporter Darren Rovell, who first broke the news Thursday, questioned if this acquisition could face an inquiry from the Federal Trade Commission.

“This is really serious because if there is some FTC violations here, where there is some monopolistic concerns, obviously no one is gonna offer that within 24 hours of this deal,” Rovell told The Ringer’s “Sports Card Nonsense” podcast.

According to GemRate, PSA had a market share of 78 percent in 2023, while SGC had 7 percent.

However, the move definitely does give a boost to SGC.

“It does certainly favor SGC in that they have come a long way in the past two or three years from the most highly graded cards and the value that they are able to get,” says Rovell. “That’s probably the number one message here.”

On top of owning PSA and SGC, Collectors also has in its portfolio Goldin Auctions, card pricing platform Card Ladder, WATA Sports and the Long Beach Expo collectibles trade show.

“Our portfolio focuses on service providers that bring expertise, quality and value to hobbyists, and SGC has built a strong reputation on these three fronts,” says Collectors CEO Nat Turner. “We recognize that every collector has their own preferred authentication and grading provider, and we look forward to providing expertise that will continue to enhance SGC’s customer offering.”

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