NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: In the business world, one of the cardinal reasons for mergers and acquisitions (M&As) is the potential for synergistic growth. Successful companies usually measure this in terms of revenue streams, market share and product offerings. However, in the age of digital technology and globalization, a significant facet of growth potential is often found a company’s core customer base and digital reputation. Lucy Scientific Discovery (NASDAQ: LSDI) (Profile) is astutely following this road map utilized by hugely successful corporations by uniquely leveraging user bases to rapidly amplify shareholder value. This well-established, albeit counterintuitive, M&A strategy has been utilized by several major companies including Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: META), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) with the unconventional process producing results that vastly exceeded expected typical M&A metrics.
- Strategic acquisitions prove that harnessing the power of niche user bases can lead to parabolic growth
- Lucy Scientific Discovery has recognized the value of uniquely leveraging user bases to rapidly amplify shareholder value
- Earlier this year the company entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire the total IP of High Times
- Most recently, Lucy announced the signing of an amalgamation agreement to acquire BlueSky Wellness, a move that expands its footprint into the growing global wellness category
Meta’s strategic acquisition of Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion was less than one week after the roll out of its Android app, when it accumulated more than a million downloads in a day. Then, in 2014, Meta’s radar locked onto WhatsApp, boasting more than 200 million users. The acquisition price was steep at $19 billion, but the value wasn’t just in the application’s functionality — it was in its colossal global user base.
Microsoft deployed a similar aggressive acquisition strategy of identifying opportunities to diversify and strengthen position and market share by tapping into vast niche user networks. In 2011, Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, a platform with more than 660 million global users, became a classic example of how the tech giant was looking beyond just software integration to a global platform integration strategy. Then, in 2016, Microsoft made headlines again by acquiring LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. LinkedIn, unlike other social media platforms, was the first mover and dominant in the professional networking space.
A Golden Opportunity
These moves by Meta and Microsoft underscore a clear strategy: Harnessing the power of niche user bases can lead to parabolic growth.
Enter Lucy Scientific Discovery (NASDAQ: LSDI), a company that has recognized the value in this counterintuitive approach. Lucy’s recent share purchase agreement to acquire the total intellectual property (“IP”) of High Times shows that the company truly understands the immense value of a large, loyal audience. In an all-stock transaction, the acquisition provides a stream of high-margin licensing and royalty income from the well-regarded High Times. More importantly, with its massive following, the High Times acquisition offers a golden opportunity for Lucy Scientific Discovery to introduce and distribute its products to a captive, engaged audience, while benefitting from significant early-stage revenue.
On closing, Lucy will acquire all the brand rights and fully intends to monetize the broad-based IP through both current and future royalty agreements. Lucy also plans to extend and enhance the existing domestic and international licensing arrangements currently held by High Times, including consumer products and merchandise. The company expects to preserve the core essence of the High Times brands and its followers while simultaneously expanding the follower base and pursuing new avenues of growth and development.
“Lucy expects this acquisition to drive high margin revenue quickly and sustainably,” said Richard Nanula, Lucy Scientific Discovery CEO and executive chair. “This is a great opportunity to grow the market presence of the nearly 50-year-old High Times brand globally through licensing and online distribution. We are confident that this opportunity can add significant value for our shareholders.”
Lucy Scientific Discovery’s move also appears to be a strategic play to leverage an established niche audience for direct product sales, reputation and influence — just like Meta and Microsoft purchased platforms with vast niche user bases to expand their influence,
The message is clear: Niche user bases are invaluable, as they offer immediate access to engaged consumers, a chance for cross-selling, and opportunities for expansion and diversification. As these cases illustrate, sometimes the most compelling asset isn’t a product, patent, or technology—it’s the people using them. In the digital age, where user engagement is currency, companies that recognize and act upon this fact will often find themselves in an enviable position of growth and influence.
Testament to Shareholder Commitment
High Times isn’t the only M&A move that Lucy Discovery has made. In another all-stock deal, the company continued its savvy strategy with the amalgamation agreement to acquire BlueSky Wellness, a move that quickly expands Lucy’s footprint into the growing global wellness category on closing. BlueSky Wellness built an impressive a portfolio of plant-based wellness brands that have generated more than $20 million in each of its last two years that complement High Times’ products and platforms and should positively impact the bottom line of Lucy Scientific Discovery.
“The addition of the BlueSky portfolio and its team will allow us to capitalize on revenue opportunities,” said Nanula. “Coupled with our High Times acquisition, this will strategically position us for substantial near- and long-term growth. The recent announcements are a testament to our commitment to expand and grow our business, adding revenue that diversifies our company and should deliver significant value to our Lucy Scientific shareholders.”
BlueSky is led by a team of seasoned CPG executives with experience at Fortune 500 companies, including PepsiCo, SC Johnson, General Mills and Robert Half. They have built and exited a number of successful companies over the last decade. The acquisition brings a unique suite of marketing capabilities, brand-building prowess and a highly skilled team with extensive relationships to the Lucy Discovery table.
Major League Acquisitions
Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: META) builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps such as Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology. The company continues to make key acquisitions that support its strategic business plan.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. The company has a long history of acquisitions, with more than a hundred acquisitions since 1994.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be the most customer-centric company, best employer, and safest place to work in the world. The company has a rich history of acquisitions; most recently the company added One Medical to its roster of strategic additions.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) designs, manufactures, and markets smartphones, tablets, personal computers and wearable devices. The company offers software applications and related services, accessories, and third-party digital content. Apple’s product portfolio includes iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Earlier this year, the company acquired Mira, a Los Angeles-based AR startup that makes headsets for other companies as well as the U.S. military. Apple typically doesn’t discuss acquisitions, but it did confirm the acquisition and issued the statement it traditionally provides when buying a company: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Lucy Scientific Discovery’s last few weeks action of unconventional strategic acquisitions is a clear indication that the company fully recognizes the inherent value of large and loyal user networks. More importantly than just the inherent value of these networks, the company is fast tracking the integration and expansion of these networks and maximizing revenue streams that will ultimately impact shareholder value. Utilizing part of an unconventional playbook from some major league successful acquisitions, Lucy Scientific Discovery is intent on writing a new chapter of success aimed at benefiting all stakeholders.
For more information about Lucy Scientific Discovery Inc., please visit Lucy Scientific Discovery.
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