Entrust Global — parent company of brands Beckett and DragonShield — recently acquired Southern Hobby Supply, a distributor of sports card and trading card game products in North America.
Southern Hobby is an authorized distributor for brands Magic: The Gathering, Panini, Pokémon, Topps, Ultra Pro, Upper Deck, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and more. For 31 years, it has been a supplier for more than 1,000 hobby and specialty stores. Based in Nashville, Southern Hobby also operates distribution centers in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, and Reno.
“We are thrilled to welcome the great team at Southern Hobby into our aggressively growing portfolio,” said Sandeep Dua, Entrust’s founder and group CEO. “The dominant leading indicator for our growth has been our unrelenting focus on our core values, our people and our expansion strategy. With this winning combination, we are committed to fuel the growth of Southern Hobby by adding more market share and extending its branches globally to increase its dominant position in the dynamic distribution space for collectibles and gaming.”
Southern Hobby owners Jim Austin, Bob Austin, Chris Austin, and Brad Wagoner said they chose Entrust after observing its investment in employees and business partnerships across the global enthusiast space, particularly in its Beckett grading and authentication brands and the DragonShield products manufactured by Denmark-based Arcane Tinmen.
“Our objective was to find the right company that shares the same core values that our associates, our manufacturer partners and our awesome customers have grown to expect from Southern Hobby Supply. The Entrust Global Group is that company,” Wagoner said.
Wagoner and Chris Austin will remain with the new company in their current roles as chief operating officer and president, respectively. Kevin Isaacson, founder of The Industry Summit collectibles conference and current COO of Entrust, will join Southern Hobby as CEO.
“Entrust Global will build on the success of Southern Hobby through increased investments in our associates as well as innovation to accommodate the ever-changing landscape,” said Chris Austin. “We will continue to challenge ourselves to be the very best distributor and ambassador for all of our industry partners.”
Entrust employs more than 1000 global associates and operates in eight countries.