Iconic marijuana magazine, High Times, has gone public… without an IPO.
According to TechCrunch, the 43-year-old media brand sold to an already public shell company and its shareholders got an 83 percent stake in the company.
Private equity firm Oreva Capital acquired a controlling stake in High Times in June for $70 million, before selling to public company Origo, which the report labels a “special-purpose acquisition company” (SPAC). The transaction was for $250 million.
“High Times is one of few household names in the cannabis industry,” said High Times Chief Executive Adam Levin, who will continue to run the company post-merger.
Reuters notes that SPACs like Origo have no assets but use IPO proceeds and bank financing to take companies public through acquisitions.
With the deal, High Times expects to list on NASDAQ by October. However, it’s currently unclear what the ticker will be.
Origo has high hopes, believing High Times can become a massive media empire, as marijuana becomes legal in more states. So far, eight U.S. states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational use of marijuana by adults.
Reports say High Times has 336,000 print and digital subscribers, alongside an events arm (including the Cannabis Cup), and a music and product festival with awards.