Months after announcing a merger that put controlling interest of High Times out of the hands of private ownership for the first time since its founding, the magazine is announcing another acquisition that will make it a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq. Today High Times disclosed a merger with Origo Acquisition Company.
“Historically, High Times has been under-capitalized and unable to take advantage of broad opportunities in cannabis-related digital media, e-Commerce, branding and licensing,” the magazine said through a press release. “However, in 2017 Oreva Capital gained control of High Times and began to position the company to better capitalize on its robust future growth.”
The announcement follows the release of the 500th issue of the magazine and includes a statement that places the existing equity of the company at $250 million.
“Today and going forward, the company operates through three primary segments, each of which is expected to achieve revenue growth in 2017 compared to approximately $16 million in 2016,” the magazine’s release read.
The three segments with which High Times generates its revenue are events, such as the Cannabis Cup; licensing branded content, merchandise and apparel (High Times reports it brought in $155,000 in licensing in 2016) and print reporting generating approximately $4.4 million in print media and $1 million in digital media last year.
“High Times is one of few household names in the cannabis industry,” the magazine’s Chief Executive Officer Adam Levin said through the release. “We believe that the barriers to entry are substantial, given the respect and trust associated with our brand that comes from informing and entertaining people for over 40 years. As a leading authority in a rapidly growing and evolving industry, we believe the public market is the best vehicle for capturing and funding substantial market opportunities and championing the innovations emerging across the globe in this industry.”
In terms of the nitty gritty details Origo now owns 100 percent of the equity of High Times in exchange for 23,474,178 newly-issued shares of Origo, which formerly operated under the name CB Pharma Acquisition Corporation. The announcement states that High Times’ current management team, led by Levin, will continue to run the company post transaction.
“We believe High Times has an important mix of qualities essential for success,” Origo’s Chief Executive Officer Edward J. Fred said through the release. “High Times is a highly-recognized brand in a rapidly growing industry that has a very engaged base and increasing opportunities to leverage that following.”
Origo’s securities are represented on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbols OACQ, OACQU, OACQR and OACQW.
Already other industry influencers in the space have taken note, such as Asher Troppe, CEO of Tress Capital, which has investments in SC Labs, Baker, Headset and Phytotek.
“The transaction, if completed successfully, will likely lead to more U.S. market public cannabis transactions and growing interest in the sector, which is already on the upswing,” Asher said. “With the company’s storied history, this would be a chance for the new management to leverage public markets financing and exposure to try and bring High Times into Cannabis 2.0.”
TELL US, what do you think of the news? Do you expect to see changes in High Times Magazine?