High Times magazine sold to tech and entertainment group backed by Oreva Capital
The deal, reportedly values the company at $70 million, and involves the magazine and the company’s Cannabis Cup events, and will bring in new management and a new corporate name, High Times Holding Company
The magazine High Times, founded in 1974, has been sold for the first time in its history, to a group led by the Los Angeles-based investment firm Oreva Capital and its founder Adam Levin. The new company will operate as High Times Holding Company. TechCrunch has reported that the deal involves the sale of a 60 percent stake valued at $70 million, or around $42 million in new funding.
While the magazine was founded in NYC, in January of this year the magazine announced it would move to LA — which makes sense since several western states, including California, have some form of legalized marijuana use.
“When I was in high school I used to grow some herb, said musician Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley who is part of the new ownership group, nd the co-founder of Stony Hill, a company focused on the cannabis industry. “I learned to differentiate male from the female plant by reading High Times Magazine. High Times also had me daydreaming of so many beautiful strains that at the time I had not yet had the chance to experience.”
The magazine once hit 500K in circulation, but today has a quite respectable circulation of around 236,000, according to the title’s website. But though the magazine is quite well known, like many magazine companies, it is events, such as The Cannabis Cup, that have driven much of its revenue.
The news of the sale of the magazine comes the same day as Freedom Leaf Inc., which publishes Freedom Leaf Magazine, announced that it had acquired two Spanish language cannabis portals — LaMarihuana.com and www.Marihuana-Medicinal.com.
The timing is interesting in that prior to the election of Donald Trump there was growing momentum for marijuana legalization, and a general feeling that the industry would continue to dramatically expand.
But with the election of Trump, and especially the appointment of marijuana neanderthal Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Federal government now takes a dim view of marijuana. On the other hand, it is possible that many of those investing today don’t see that the current administration is in any way an indication that the long term prospects for legalization have decreased.
Here is the announcement of the sale of High Times:
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — June 1, 2017 — Trans-High Corporation, owner of High Times, the long-standing champion of the cannabis movement, operator of the Cannabis Cups and digital media powerhouse has been acquired and is now under new ownership and management for the first time since its founding in 1974. The company will operate as High Times Holding Company (HTHC).
High Times’ thriving events business, print publication and collection of digital properties, was purchased by a group of 20 investors with holdings and experience in media, entertainment, technology and social networking. The new ownership group also includes cannabis-related organizations stretching across the U.S.
The transaction was spearheaded by Oreva Capital, an L.A.-based investment firm founded by entrepreneur Adam Levin, who has led the acquisition, rebuilding and sale of several media companies, once-prominent social networks, advertising platforms and mobile video businesses.
HTHC intends to capitalize on the unparalleled High Times name recognition in popular culture, its deep grassroots entrenchment in the industry and the skyrocketing worldwide demand for cannabis-related businesses to take the brand to new heights.
New ownership will focus on expanding the multi-platform reach and audience size for its media properties while developing new revenue streams through partnerships, licensing and events expansion.
“To say we are bullish about the opportunities to expand High Times would be an understatement. It has great brand equity and a solid audience base. But I think most would agree it was not executing to its maximum strategic and operational potential under the legacy framework,” said Levin, who will act as chief executive during the reconstruction of the brand. “We are going to build on the strong base of support and recognition established by the founders to shepherd the evolution of High Times from the authority in the counterculture movement to a modern media enterprise.”
Demand for cannabis products, events and information is skyrocketing into a multi-billion dollar industry.* At a time when legalization and decriminalization of cannabis is sweeping America and cannabis culture continues to accelerate with a new wave of normalization in society, the new owners see huge opportunities to expand the High Times brand into new frontiers to take advantage of the recent canna-boom.