Jim Beam Heir's Pot Firm Gets Vegas Site With $290 Million Deal

Ben Kovler - Founder - Owner - CEO - Green Thumb Industries
Ben Kovler  – Getty Images

Green Thumb Industries, one of the most valuable U.S. pot companies, is betting big on Las Vegas.
The Chicago-based company, which has more than a dozen weed dispensaries in eight states, said it is acquiring Nevada marijuana stores and cultivation facilities in a deal valued at about $290 million. The acquisition of Integral Associates, about 80 percent of which is being paid in stock, gives Green Thumb a dispensary on the Las Vegas strip, a high-profile location visited by millions of tourists each year.
Green Thumb was founded by Ben Kovler.
His great-grandfather – Harry Blum – co-founded Jim Beam when prohibition ended. In 1941, he bought out his partners for $1 million.
That small investment launched a family fortune that continues on today.
Kovler founded Green Thumb Industries in 2002. Today, the Chicago company operates 12 dispensaries in Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Green Thumb attracted $45 million in capital from private investors. Plus, the company raised another $59 million in its IPO transaction.
Also on board is billionaire Leon Cooperman.
Cooperman is a friend of the Kovler family. And he said, “I’ve known Ben Kovler since birth – he’s an impressive young man. I think he has great vision for this industry.”
Cooperman started his career at Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) before launching his own hedge fund called Omega Partners.
Since the early 1990s, his fund has beaten the S&P 500 with annualized returns of 12.4%.
Today, Cooperman’s fund has $3.6 billion in assets under management. Most of that money belongs to Cooperman and his family.
Cooperman is a well-known value investor . . .
So, it may seem surprising that he’s investing in this “pot stock.”
The rapid growth of the industry probably caught his attention.
In late August, Green Thumb reported impressive quarterly financial results.
Revenues surged 291% to reach $13.6 million. And the company reported net income of $400,000, compared with a loss of $1.6 million in the year-earlier quarter.
 
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Jim Beam Heir’s Pot Firm Gets Vegas Site With $290 Million Deal

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