High Times has built up its property portfolio over the last couple of years, accumulating a number of brands under its leafy umbrella.
“[We are on a] mission to create brand-safe inventory for brands of all sizes," High Times CEO Adam Levin told Benzinga back in September.
Now, what's arguably the best-known weed brand in the world is at it again, this time with the acquisition of a new asset: Buyers Industry Guide (BIG).
BIG runs a publication and targeted buying guide for the U.S. cannabis and smoke industry. In addition, the company is responsible for a number of major events, such as “the BIG Show," a B2B event servicing the ancillary cannabis community.
While the value of the transaction was not disclosed, Benzinga did get the chance to chat with Levin again and ask both about the BIG acquisition and High Times’ wider M&A strategy.
Picking Up Teams
This is High Times’ fourth acquisition in 2018. In April, the company acquired Green Rush Daily for around $7 million in cash and stock. In June, it bought CULTURE magazine from Southland Publishing. And in September, High Times paid $11.2 million for Dope Magazine.
“With our acquisition of the different media brands, such as Dope, Culture and Green Rush Daily, we were able to pick up different assets. Whether it’s sales teams, writers, different forms of distribution,” Levin said. “Today we have around 9 million unique [readers] and we cover more than 80 percent of the cannabis consumers in the market today."
The acquisitions help High Times expand its presence in the states where cannabis is legal to some degree.
“We now have a sales team of 30-plus people and some presence in every state where there is some form of cannabis. As our company continues to grow, the synergies are obvious. When we add ‘the Big Show’ we are just adding another media product that we will be able to sell through our entire sales force," Levin said.
More Opportunities For Advertisers
High Times’ sales force is turning into a “distribution machine,” Levin said.
Acquiring more publishing brands means that High Times can provide more venues for advertisers, he said. Even though all the publications the company has acquired so far are cannabis-focused, the audience crossover is smaller than expected, he said.
“Each brand has its own specific demographic. With Dope, we only had an audience crossover of almost less than 50 percent," the CEO said. “50 percent of Dope’s advertisers have not advertised in High Times. And now we are going to find different services ... that we can offer as trusted partners to these businesses.”
Levin said he expects High Times to start offering new services for cannabis companies in the near future.
Why The Acquisition Of ‘The Big Show’?
Aside from publications, High Time has a large event production business that produces festivals such as the Cannabis Cup and Reggae On The River, as well as business events such as the High Times Business Expo.
The acquisition of BIG will help High Times grow its presence in the event business.
High Times positions itself as much more than a cannabis event company.
“I have a brand that everyone knows,” Levin added. “When you are looking at 50 percent of the growth in this industry and where it’s coming from, it’s from people who know High Times.”
The acquisition of BIG is subject to certain conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.
Disclosure: The author is a High Times contributor.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.
All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the Bankrate.com rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.
Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.