INVICTUS MD STRATEGIES CORP. (“Invictus” or the “Company”) (TSXV: IMH; OTC: IVITF; FRA: 8IS1) announced today that rock ‘n’ roll legend and marketing and branding innovator Gene Simmons, co-founder of KISS: America’s #1 Gold Record Award Winning Group of all time, has joined Invictus as Chief Evangelist Officer.
Kiss frontman and outspoken drug warrior Gene Simmons is becoming the latest celebrity to team up with the cannabis industry. He will become the new spokesperson for Canadian cannabis company Invictus MD Strategies Corp. Fans of KISS know that Gene Simmons is a longtime anti-drug advocate, so his $10M investment in Canadian cannabis producer Invictus MD may come as a surprise to some. But Simmons says his opinion on marijuana has changed since looking into it further. Though Simmons says he’s never used cannabis himself.
“I have to man up and admit in the past, I used to dismiss lots of things because of ignorance and arrogance,” Simmons told the Toronto Sun. “About three years ago when I did my own research, I found out astonishingly new information that doctors and researchers were talking about with regards to cannabis.”
The partnership involves Simmons’ leadership in a variety of capacities focused on assisting the Company with its public awareness strategy and eventual branding strategy for the recreational market that is anticipated to be legal in Canada in 2018. His responsibilities will include providing marketing counsel, serving as a spokesperson in the media, public appearances and participation in the Company’s annual general meeting and investor meetings, among others.
“Gene Simmons is a branding and merchandising genius, who not only created one of the most iconic bands of all time, but has spent decades building successful brands internationally in various industries,” said Dan Kriznic, Chairman and CEO of Invictus. “Gene will lead marketing initiatives that will help spread the positive messages that dwell at the heart of Invictus in accordance with the strict regulations of Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) and the Narcotic Control Regulations (NCR)” said Kriznic.
“Values and family are very important to me, and when I first connected with Dan at Invictus, I understood immediately that we enjoyed a shared passion for these key life foundations,” said Gene. “Instead of launching straight into business, we talked about the things that matter the most.”
While Simmons has achieved extraordinary success beyond the concert stage and recording studio, his KISS-related achievements are astounding in themselves with the band having sold more than 100 million albums; earning more American Gold Record Awards than any other group, in all categories (RIAA); building a merchandising/licensing empire with over 2,500 licenses including everything from t-shirts and comic books, to pinball machines, credit cards and lunchboxes; and breaking box office records set by The Beatles and Elvis.
Beyond KISS, Simmons’ celebrity television show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, aired for eight years and 167 episodes, and was viewed in 84 countries — one of the longest-running celebrity reality TV shows in history. He discovered Van Halen, managed the recording career of Liza Minnelli, and is a founding partner in the global restaurant chain Rock & Brews.
“The appeal Invictus has for me is I’m bullish on the company and as an investment strategy for myself. For me this is a great business opportunity. As a matter of full disclosure, I’ve got 10 million in stock in the company and I’m glad to do it.”
Simmons’ achievements in marketing encouraged McClaren to hire him as their brand ambassador and Indycar engaged him to do their marketing. Simmons has a record label Simmons Records, is a published author with Simmons Books about to publish his latest book “27”, on the heels of his two previous best sellers Me, Inc., and On Power; and Simmons Comics continues to grow. In addition, he published his own magazine, Tongue (Sterling-McFadden) and is about to launch his newest magazine, “iMOGU” focusing on entrepreneurs that matter. Simmons created and executive produced the TV shows My Dad The Rock Star, Mr. Romance, and others. He has also acted in numerous motion pictures and television shows for more than three decades and is currently co-producing a slate of motion pictures with Arclight Films.
Simmons is a partner in the New York-based Family Office of Highmore Group Advisors, he has rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange, and was keynote speaker at NASDAQ. Gene Simmons also had a United States Postage Stamp.
Among his latest ventures, Simmons is launching a premium soda line, MoneyBag™ Sodas, across all 7-Eleven stores; his 50th anniversary rock tour, Gene Simmons: The Vault Experience, continues with stops around the world; and, he will soon launch MoneyBag™ FootGear.
Terms of the agreement
Pursuant to the terms of the agreement Invictus acquired all the issued and outstanding shares of Gene-Etics Strains Co. from Gene Simmons and Simmons will provide the marketing and branding efforts described above for a purchase price comprising of $2.5-million (U.S.) payable in cash and the issuance of 2,631,141 common shares in the capital of Invictus to be paid on the closing date. Invictus and Simmons will also enter into a management services agreement and international licensing agreement, for an additional 1,973,355 common shares and a second tranche of 1,973,355 common shares to be issued to Simmons on the later of 240 days following the closing date and January 2, 2019.
The shares are being issued at a deemed price of $1.97
About Invictus MD Strategies Corp.
Invictus MD Strategies Corp. is focused on two main verticals within the Canadian cannabis sector, namely the Licensed Producers under the ACMPR, being its 100% investment in Acreage Pharms Ltd., located in West-Central Alberta, and 50% investment in AB Laboratories Inc., located near Hamilton, Ontario, that has its cultivation and sales license under ACMPR. In addition to ACMPR licenses, the Company has an 82.5% investment in Future Harvest Development Ltd. a Fertilizer and Nutrients manufacturer based in Kelowna, British Columbia.