This Week in Alternative Investments - May 26th, 2023

Fanatics Collectibles acquired auction house PWCC


Bite sized market updates

Fanatics acquired PWCC. The sports conglomerate adds one of the world’s largest collectible auction houses to its portfolio.

The world’s largest crypto exchange has been accused of wrongdoing. Reuters reported that Binance has commingled customer deposits with company revenues.

The Flatiron building was auctioned (again). It sold for $161 million, after a previous auction winner failed to pay.

The private credit market is expanding. As U.S. banks continue to pull back from lending, non-bank lenders are looking into consumer and real estate loans.

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Market Updates

Fanatics Collectibles announced that they are buying PWCC. This a huge shakeup in the collectibles world, as PWCC is a major collectible auction house and also has one of the largest collectibles vaults in the world. This comes a week after it acquired PointBets, a sports betting company, and a year after it acquired sports card giant Topps. They are going head to head with Collectors Holdings, which owns major auction house Goldin and top grading company PSA.

Major crypto exchange Binance has been commingling customer funds and company revenues. This according to a bombshell report from Reuters, which claims that three sources told them of this violation of U.S. financial rules. The article says “the sums ran into billions of dollars and commingling happened almost daily.” However, there is no evidence that any customers have lost any money as of yet.

After a failed March auction, the famed Flatiron building has been auctioned off again. The New York City landmark had previously sold for $190 million, but the winner was unable to secure a down payment. This auction saw it sell for $161 million to Jeffrey Gural, who is already a part of the current ownership group. The building is currently empty, as it has been since 2019.

The private credit market is expanding into car loans, mortgages and consumer lending. As smaller regional banks and even some larger national banks have tightened lending guidelines, borrowers are increasingly turning to non-bank lenders. Rising interest rates have made this an attractive asset class for investors as banks retreat from consumer lending. As of now private credit makes up just 12% of the overall commercial lending industry and that number is expected to grow.