MJBiz was just sold to Emerald X, a wholly owned subsidiary of Emerald Holding. The deal includes MJBizCon as well as related media and event brands such as MJBizDaily, Hemp Industry Daily, MJBizMagazine, and The Emerald Conference.
The $120 million cash deal includes potential earnouts based on financial performance. Emerald’s Chief Financial Officer David Doft told Bloomberg the earnout could pay an additional $30-50 million to MJBiz in 2023. MJBizDaily reported the earnout “will be an amount equal to the EBITDA growth of MJBiz — calculated as an amount equal to the average MJBiz EBITDA over the past two years minus $13 million — multiplied by 9.3.”
The acquisition signals Emerald’s expansion into one of the highest growth business sectors in North America. Emerald credits the purchase to MJBiz’ 38% compound annual revenue growth in the three years prior to the pandemic.
MJBizCon is the industry’s oldest business-to-business trade show, attracting tens of thousands of attendees each year. The 2021 show neared pre-pandemic attendance levels. Emerald organizes more than 150 events a year across numerous sectors. This is the company’s first foray into the cannabis space.
Emerald’s President and CEO Hervé Sedky said, “This is a transformational acquisition for Emerald as it represents an important next step in the implementation of our strategic initiatives and underscores our commitment to evolve and grow our customers’ businesses 365 days a year.”
New ownership will not alter the MJBiz management team, including CEO Chris Walsh, Senior Vice President of Events and Sales Jess Tyler, and Senior Vice President of Content and Audience Development Pam Moore.
MJBiz Co-founder and Chair of its Board said, “Our organization has experienced massive growth since its inception, initially as a how-to resource to help dispensary owners run their businesses better, into our position today as the leading commercial resource for the cannabis sector.”
Farrington added, “We chose Emerald because they clearly value the unique aspects of our brand and are committed to serving the industry’s expansion.”
Future MJBiz events include the Emerald Conference, February 27-March 1, 2022, and MJBizCon, November 15-18, 2022.