Richard Nanula, Lucy Scientific Discovery’s CEO, Adds High Times Acquisition to Extensive Record

DENVER, Colo., September 11, 2023 ( Lucy Scientific Discovery’s (LSDI:NASDAQ) acquisition of the most recognizable and iconic brand in the cannabis industry, High Times intellectual property (IP) and domains, including the Cannabis Cup and brands, is the CEO’s, Richard Nanula, latest headline transaction.

Richard Nanula’s Dealmaking CV

Nanula has been a dominant C-Suite force in several high-profile Fortune 500 Corporations, where he managed more than $50 billion worth of M&A and financing transactions.

As EVP Finance & Strategy and CFO of Amgen (AMGN:NASDAQ), he conceived and executed 5 acquisitions, valued at $18 billion, including the biotech industry’s largest ever, at the time. He further arranged for Amgen to borrow over $15 billion, spearheading a stock buyback of over 25% AMGN’s stock at under $60 per share, which rapidly shot to over $160. His strategies also reduced their tax rate by more than half.

As The Walt Disney Company’s (DIS:NYSE) EVP and CFO, Nanula led the first ever corporate100-year bonds program, first ever convertible debt into a subsidiary (Euro Disney), over $3 billion of film financings (Silver Screen), and the over $20 billion acquisition and financing of Capital Cities/ABC (ABC television network, ESPN). During his tenure, Disney’s revenues grew from $2 billion to over $20 billion and market capitalization from $3 billion to over $40 billion.

In addition to his transaction prowess, Nanula has operating experience, including as president of The Disney Store Worldwide. However, as Michael Eisner told, “we needed him back at corporate,” during a time of great turmoil for Disney, when Eisner brought Nanula back as his CFO, which one would assume is the highest possible praise for Nanula’s problem solving skills.

As President and COO Starwood Hotels and Resorts, now part of Marriott (MAR:NASDAQ), Nanula integrated 3 acquired entities, Starwood Hotels, Westin and Sheraton ITT into a single $20 Billion enterprise, the largest hospitality company in the world, with over 1,000 hotels.

The High Times Acquisition

In exchange for the rights to the stream of high-margin licensing and royalty income, Lucy will issue 19.9% of its outstanding stock to High Times and make payments, in stock or cash at Lucy’s discretion, based on EBITDA generated, for the next 5 years.

The deal structure is classic Nanula and keeps Lucy Scientific’s healthy balance sheet healthy, as well as positioning for a solid return on equity.

Nanula believes that the High Times IP acquisition will generate at least $10 million in revenue and $5 million in EBITDA to its 2024 results and provide a solid growth platform, as cannabis becomes legal around the world.

“Lucy expects this acquisition to drive high margin revenue quickly and sustainably across the cannabis sector around the world. 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,” noted Nanula.

Considering Nanula’s extensive experience, strategic acumen, and a keen understanding of the pharmaceutical and entertainment industries, the transaction should lead High Times into an era of groundbreaking opportunities and product innovations.

The acquisition’s timing is ideal, as, according to a recent Statista report forecast, the legal cannabis industry is expected to reach $51.27 billion this year and expected to expand at a 14.95% annual growth rate (“CAGR”), basically doubling by 2028.

Adam Levin, High Times’ Executive Chairman, stated, “Over the past few years, we have been building the consumer products offerings for High Times and there is no better partner than Lucy to drive our iconic brand forward.  This transaction will open up tremendous new opportunities to grow and expand the High Times brand led by Richard Nanula, who has decades of experience with some of the biggest consumer brands and companies in the world. We are delighted to become large Lucy shareholders.”

Knowing Nanula’s skillset and work ethic, it’s hard to project if we get a Pasithea Therapeutics update or hear something about a totally new project…so, stay tuned.

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