MJBiz Sold to EmeraldX for $120M
Deal includes variable cash payout for performance marking one of the industry's largest deals to date.

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With possible extra earnouts in the millions of dollars, MJBiz has been acquired for $120 million in cash and stock by Emerald X, a wholly owned subsidiary of Emerald Holding, a New York City-based business-to-business event and media organization.

Included in the transaction is MJBizCon, the longest-running and largest trade exhibition of its kind in the cannabis sector, as well as ancillary media and event brands, which include award-winning magazines MJBizDaily, Hemp Industry Daily, and MJBizMagazine, among others.

The Emerald Conference, a cannabis research event that MJBiz acquired in 2020, is also included in the acquisition.

Emerald's president and CEO, Hervé Sedky, stated that the transaction is consistent with the company's strategic intentions.

With "MJBiz's leading event and content portfolio, combined with their 365-day engagement platform, connecting the entire cannabis supply chain," said Sedky, "we will diversify our collective product offerings, enhance our growth profile, and enable us to deliver even greater value to our customers in the long term."

Outdoor Retailer, ASD Market Week, and the International Pizza Expo are just a few of the big events hosted by Emerald.

The acquisition of Denver-based MJBiz by the business constitutes a significant transaction for both the event and cannabis industries.

Furthermore, the deal demonstrates the continued popular acceptance of the cannabis plant – which was formerly considered a counterculture – as well as the multibillion-dollar industry that has developed around it over the past quarter century.

This "clearly demonstrates the fast expanding interest in cannabis from all corners of the business world, the market's tremendous potential, and the success of not only MJBiz, but also of the entire industry," said MJBiz CEO Chris Walsh.

These types of transactions are becoming increasingly common in the cannabis sector as pioneering companies like ours raise their game in order to more efficiently harness and support the industry's next wave of growth.

The agreement includes a variable earnout that is based on the company's financial performance.

It is anticipated that the earnout will be an amount equal to the EBITDA growth of MJBiz – defined as an amount equal to the average MJBiz EBITDA over the past two years less $13 million – multiplied by 9.3 percent.

Organizers of large-scale trade shows

When it was hosted in Las Vegas in October, MJBizCon attracted more than 1,200 exhibitors and 27,000 guests, making it the largest annual trade expo for the cannabis business.

In a typical year, Emerald conducts more than 150 events, covering a wide range of industries such as retail; design; building; technology; equipment and safety.

“MJBiz plans to continue to serve the cannabis business as it has for the past decade, now with a deeper bench,” Walsh said.

Emerald has approximately 600 employees; MJBiz has roughly 40.

“Integrating with a larger organization provides the additional resources and channels to unlock the next phase of MJBiz’s growth and is the right next step in our evolution as a business,” MJBiz co-founder Cassandra Farrington said.

“We chose Emerald because they clearly value the unique aspects of our brand and are committed to serving the industry’s expansion.”

Farrington and her co-founder, Anne Holland, will act as consultants for a period of time.

Sedky said he has long admired “MJBiz’s sterling reputation for being the most trusted event and content producer serving the business side of the cannabis and hemp industries and their respective participants.”

Emerald Holding trades as EEX on the New York Stock Exchange.

MJBizCon 2022 will be held Nov. 15-18 in Las Vegas.

Source: MJBizDaily Press Release

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MJBiz Sold to EmeraldX for $120M
JD 4 January, 2022
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