Emerald Holding, which is backed by Onex, has acquired MJBiz, for $120 million. Jeff Gruenhut and John McGovern of Grimes, McGovern & Associates advised MJBiz on the deal. MJBiz is an event producer and content platform that serves the cannabis industry.
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Emerald Holding, Inc. (NYSE:EEX) (“Emerald” or the “Company”) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of MJBiz, the leading event producer and content platform serving the wide range of companies operating in the large and rapidly growing cannabis industry. The addition of MJBiz further accelerates Emerald’s strategy of delivering 365-day customer engagement while also enhancing its portfolio optimization efforts by providing a preeminent platform to expand into one of the highest growth business sectors in North America.
MJBiz Acquisition Highlights:
Founded in 2011, MJBiz produces MJBizCon, the oldest and leading B2B cannabis trade show in America, the Emerald Conference and related media brands including MJBizDaily, Hemp Industry Daily and MJBiz Magazine.
In 2021, MJBiz’s revenues were approximately $27 million, which were near pre-pandemic levels.
MJBizCon is a top trade show in the cannabis industry having featured more than 1,200 exhibiting companies and 27,000 attendees, including over 18,000 paid registrations, at the October 2021 event, rivaling pre-pandemic levels.
The MJBiz platform delivered 38% compound annual revenue growth in the three years prior to the pandemic (2017-2019). In addition to operating the leading cannabis industry trade show, the MJBiz brand is the leading source for actionable business intelligence in the cannabis industry.
MJBiz management, including CEO Chris Walsh, Senior Vice President of Events and Sales, Jess Tyler, and Senior Vice President of Content and Audience Development, Pam Moore, will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of the business utilizing their exceptional knowledge and experience in the event and content platforms.
Hervé Sedky, Emerald’s President and CEO, 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.”
Mr. Sedky added, “We have 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. MJBiz’s leading event and content portfolio coupled with their 365-day engagement platform, which connects the entire cannabis supply chain, will diversify our collective product offerings, enhance our growth profile and enable us to deliver even greater value to our customers over the long term.”
Cassandra Farrington, MJBiz Cofounder and Chair of its Board, commented, “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. 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. We chose Emerald because they clearly value the unique aspects of our brand and are committed to serving the industry’s expansion.”
Emerald paid $120 million as initial consideration upon closing of the transaction, with potential future payments contingent on the performance of MJBiz through 2022.
MJBiz was exclusively represented and advised by Jeff Gruenhut and John McGovern of Grimes, McGovern & Associates.
MJBiz co-founders and Board members, Cassandra Farrington and Anne Holland, will continue to consult with the business.
MJBiz’s next events include the Emerald Conference, February 27-March 1, 2022, in San Diego, CA at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, and MJBizCon, November 15-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV at the Las Vegas Convention Center.