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Origo Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: OACQ) to Acquire High Times Holding Corp.

  • Origo to acquire High Times in transaction valued at $250 million
  • High Times will be traded under Origo’s ticker symbol  following close of acquisition
  • Better access to capital and an elevated profile will enable High Times to expand its brand and fund new opportunities

Origo Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: OACQ) is acquiring the iconic marijuana media company High Times Holding Corp. in a move that allows High Times to become publicly traded, according to a MarketWatch article published July 31 (http://nnw.fm/2Omt9).

Origo will acquire all of High Times’ equity in a transaction valued at $250 million. Origo will give 23.5 million new shares to High Times and end up with 83% of the company. If the acquisition goes through, High Times will be traded under Origo’s ticker symbol, OACQ, on the NASDAQ Capital Market.

High Times Holding Corp. is the publisher of High Times Magazine, which began operations in 1974. High Times announced the move July 27 (http://nnw.fm/rAv8S), calling the acquisition a merger and saying the company has been positioning itself to better capitalize on future growth by broadening its focus on events, licensing and media, the company’s three primary segments.

Better access to capital and an elevated profile will enable High Times to expand its brand and fund new opportunities to leverage nationwide medical and recreational use initiatives, the announcement states. The public market is the best way to capture and fund opportunities and encourage innovations, High Times CEO Adam Levin said in the announcement.

Origo Acquisition Corp. was founded in December 2014 and is headquartered in New York. The company is publicly traded, although it has no existing line of business.

Origo is a special-purpose acquisition vehicle, also known as a shell company or a “blank-check company.” Decades ago, blank-check companies had a bad reputation; they were popular in the 1980s but ran into regulatory issues and became known as fraudulent.

In the 2000s, special purpose acquisition vehicle companies, or SPACs, regained popularity. This year alone, 17 SPACs have gone public, per MarketWatch statistics. The number is on-track to surpass 20 in 2017; in 2016, 13 SPACs went public.

Funds raised in an IPO by a SPAC are placed in a trust account, and the money can only be released in the event of a transaction or acquisition which a majority of the company’s public shareholders approve.

SPACs are required to acquire at least one company within two years of formation. If they don’t, investors get their money back. Because of this, SPACs are considered low-risk and are favored by hedge funds and other large investors.

For more information on High Times, visit the company’s website at www.HighTimes.com/about

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