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Hempacco and Illumination Brands Announce Letter of Intent for Potential Business Combination

30 April 2024
  • Business Combination Intended to Revolutionize the Beverage Industry, Introducing a Vertically Integrated Beverage and Snack Brand Incubator - Targeting $35 Million in Revenues in First Year
  • A potential combination would create a powerhouse in the beverage and snack sector. Plans include continuing to innovate functional beverages. The new company would be called Illumination Brands, and it is expected to have $35 million in revenues in the first year following the combination.

San Diego, California--(Newsfile Corp. - April 30, 2024) - In an unprecedented development set to reshape the beverage industry, Hempacco (NASDAQ: HPCO), a renowned innovator in functional product manufacturing and development, and Illumination Brands, a leading beverage incubator, brand portfolio owner, and wholesale distributor, have announced that they have entered into a non-binding letter of intent to combine US operations. The combined company, to retain the name "Illumination Brands" and Hempacco's Nasdaq exchange listing, aims to redefine the market by becoming a vertically integrated beverage & snack brand incubator in the USA, from brand conception through to research, development, sales, and distribution.

This strategic business combination would combine Hempacco's cutting-edge manufacturing, R&D capabilities, and celebrity partnerships with Illumination Brands' expansive distribution network. The latter has approximately $30 million in revenues annually across 5,000+ large and small-format retail locations in Colorado, Southern Wyoming, and parts of South Dakota. The synergy from the potential combination is anticipated to enhance existing operations and facilitate the launch of groundbreaking functional Beverages and Shots.

Hempacco & IIlumination Brands Combined Brands and Assets

The potential combination is expected to create approximately $35 Million annually in revenues for the newly combined companies. This figure doesn't even include the projected revenues of the brands that Illumination Brands owns (Xing Tea, Go Fast, Aspen Pure, and Solritos) in its brand portfolio. This is a testament to the firm and complementary nature of the combined brands and assets if the combination closes.

Illumination Brands Assets at Closing:

  • Legacy Distribution Group, the DSD operation acquired from New Age Beverage, boasts over 175 years of collective beverage and snack incubation and distribution in the Colorado market.
  • Xing Tea - an RTD responsible for over 500K cases of sales annually in the Colorado market and over 1.5 million cases annually nationwide.
  • Aspen Pure Water - Water brand with sales and distribution.
  • Beer, Wine, Alcohol, and Tobacco distribution licenses.
  • Exclusive distribution in the three-state distribution market of name brands, such as Xing Tea, Go Fast, Aspen Pure, Daz Bog, Rap Snacks, Dot's, Aqua Hydrate, Clean Cause, Life Aid, Ever Fresh, Press, Zen and more.
  • The DSD's beverage incubator has aided in the initial brand development and regional market penetration for many nationally recognized brands such as Monster, Rockstar, C4, Tommy Knockers, Celsius, Bang, Smart Water, and more.

Hempacco Brands and Major Assets at Closing:

  • 20 pieces of IP, including beverage IP.
  • Beverage and Shot R&D and Manufacturing.
  • 50,000 square feet of NSF supplement and beauty Manufacturing.
  • Private Label and White Label clients.
  • A portfolio of celebrity brands led by Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, and more.
  • A portfolio of functional shots, beverages, and gummies.
  • A vending company with over 1,000 machines.
  • A Consumer Goods incubator.
  • A smoking paper company.
  • Smokable factory for vapes and functional cigarettes.

Hempacco & Illumination Brands Combination Objectives

  • Industry Innovation: This combination would introduce the first vertically integrated beverage incubator in the USA, focusing on the entire lifecycle of beverage products from concept to R&D to sales and distribution.
  • Product Launches: The combined company is expected to launch innovative functional Beverages and Shots, signaling a new direction in product development.
  • Expansion of Snoop Dogg Products: The combination is expected to facilitate the expansion of Snoop Dogg's product line into up to five thousand new locations, enhancing market presence and consumer reach.
  • Future Strategies: Post-combination, the combined company plans to expand its incubator for beverage companies, manufacture innovative products, and acquire other beverage distributors to bolster its market position by taking equity in its incubators.
  • Revenue and Distribution: Illumination Brands now boasts a distribution network selling approximately $29 million annually across 5,000+ points of sale, which would be combined with Hempacco's current annual sales of roughly $6 million, Intellectual Property, Manufacturing, and Celebrity Brands.
  • Target Customers: The combined company would sell products in convenience stores, targeting young adults with functional beverages, shots, gummies, and nutritional supplements.

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A New Era for Beverage Innovation and Distribution

Sandro Piancone, Hempacco's Chief Operating Officer, expressed enthusiasm about the potential business combination: "This is not just a combination; it's the dawn of a new paradigm in the beverage industry. By combining our strengths, we are set to launch innovative products that meet the evolving needs of consumers while also scaling up to meet the demand across new markets. We believe this vertical integration is our blueprint for future success."

Brad Wyatt, Chief Executive Officer of Illumination Brands, stated, "This business combination is a "make sense" strategic move for both companies, allowing us to command a larger segment of the supply chain and offer entrepreneurs a "one-stop-shop" incubation offering for beverage and snack brand creation, product development, market penetration and proof of concept. This will assist the new brands in achieving national recognition and distribution in an organized incubation process that can be tailored for every brand, regardless of where the brand is in its life cycle, from a basic idea to already developed chain activation. This business will provide access to best-in-class manufacturing, brand creation, promotion, and distribution, all to accelerate a brand's successful launch into the market."

Jorge Olson, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Hempacco and author of Build Your Beverage Empire, emphasized the combination's role in accelerating growth: "Our vision is to lead the beverage industry not just in terms of product innovation but as a hub for nurturing and scaling new beverage concepts. Our incubator is expected to empower entrepreneurs with the tools and resources to bring their ideas to fruition, backed by our comprehensive manufacturing to retail distribution network."

Scott Darnell, Chief Strategy Officer of Illumination Brands, highlighted the strategic advantage of this combination: "Joining forces with Hempacco not only would diversify our product offerings but significantly amplify our distribution capabilities. This combination is a game-changer for us and our retail and independent store partners, which we believe will deliver unparalleled value and innovation."

The parties have not yet finalized the terms of the potential business combination, a definitive combination agreement has not yet been entered into, and there is no guarantee that a definitive agreement will be entered into or that the contemplated business combination will ever occur.

Beverage Future Plans and Aspirations

Post-merger, Illumination Brands is poised to embark on ambitious growth strategies, including expanding its product line to include functional shots and beverages, taking all brands to national distribution, acquiring other beverage distributors, and leveraging its incubator to foster innovation within the sector. The company's goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem that nurtures emerging beverage and snack brands, offering them a seamless path from concept to consumer, with R&D, manufacturing, education, mentoring, and sales and distribution, adding shareholder value by having a stake in every incubation. The main points of the post-merger include:

  1. Integrate both company's best practices and exploit areas that will accelerate revenue and profitability growth.
  2. Continue to incubate and grow a current portfolio of brands.
  3. Add functional shots and beverages to the DSD network.
  4. The Ambitious goal is to place the current brand portfolio into 100,000+ points of sale.
  5. Enhance online sales of product assortment with strategic partnerships afforded to the combined businesses.

About Hempacco

Hempacco Co., Inc. is a fully integrated Functional Consumer Goods Incubator creating and marketing brands with Research and Development, Manufacturing, and a National Distribution Network. Hempacco's value includes:

  • Incubation of New Brands
  • R&D and Manufacturing Intellectual Property
  • Nutritional Supplement Manufacturing
  • Beverage and Shot Development and Manufacturing
  • Celebrity Partnerships with Snoop Dogg, Cheech and Chong, and Rick Ross
  • Mushroom IP for beauty, supplements, beverages, and shots
  • Cannabinoid IP for beverages, shots, and gummies

Hempacco is a majority-owned subsidiary of Green Globe International Inc. (OTC Pink: GGII), a fast-moving consumer goods incubating company.

Learn about Hempacco at www.hempacco.com.
Learn about Green Globe International at www.ggiigroup.com.

For investor inquiries, please contact:
Sandro Piancone, CEO
Investor Relations: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
619-779-0715

About Illumination Brands

Illumination Brands is a vertically integrated distribution and brand incubation company focusing on creating new point-of-sales for consumer products while acquiring, innovating, and incubating brands owned by our company and other companies, boasting a distribution network of over 5000 large and small format locations ranging from independent and chain stores to include hundreds of on-premise and non-traditional points of sales to include high schools, hotels, commercial and government businesses. It owns its portfolio of beverage and snack brands and will continue its focus on brand creation and incubation.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. In addition, from time to time, we or our representatives may make forward-looking statements orally or in writing. We base these forward-looking statements on our expectations and projections about future events, which we derive from the information currently available to us. Such forward-looking statements relate to future events or our future performance, including our financial performance and projections, revenue and earnings growth, and business prospects and opportunities. You can identify forward-looking statements by those that are not historical in nature, particularly those that use terminology such as "may," "should," "expects," "anticipates," "contemplates," "estimates," "believes," "plans," "projected," "predicts," "potential," or "hopes" or the negative of these or similar terms. In evaluating these forward-looking statements, you should consider various factors, including (i) potential failure to meet projected development and related targets; (ii) changes in applicable laws or regulations that may impact our products and business; (iii) the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company and its current or intended markets; and (iv) other risks and uncertainties described herein, as well as those risks and uncertainties discussed from time to time in other reports and other public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") by the Company. These and other factors may cause our actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement. Forward-Looking statements are only predictions. The forward-looking events discussed in this press release and other statements made from time to time by us or our representatives may not occur, and actual events and results may differ materially and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions about us. We are not obligated to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether due to uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this press release, and other statements made from time to time by us or our representatives might not occur.

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