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Better Plant Sciences Adds 300 New Products Through Acquisition of JUSU, Shares Up

There are defining moments in the history of every successful company. They can come in a variety of ways: a new partner, a major customer, a wealthy investor, etc. For Better Plant Sciences, Inc. (CSE: PLNT)(OTCQB: BOSQF), Tuesday, August 18, 2020 will forever be a part of the company’s timeline. Not only did a name change from The Yield Growth Corp. to Better Plant Sciences go into effect, but the freshly minted company penned an agreement for a substantial acquisition, snapping up the family of JUSU products for C$2.25 million in stock.

Headquartered in Better’s home province of British Columbia, JUSU is a health, wellness and lifestyle brand focused on premium plant-based products for the home, body and baby made from 100% natural, non-GMO ingredients. Across its JUSU Bar Inc., JUSU Life Inc. and JUSU Cbd Inc lines., the company has a diverse catalog of 300 natural products, ranging from body lotions to bug sprays to home cleaning products to cosmetics to cold-pressed juices and back again.

Per the agreement, Better is buying all inventory, packaging, raw ingredients and intellectual property related to JUSU products, as well as the e-commerce sites where the products are sold, the customer lists and all intangible assets relating to the chain of JUSU juice bars operated in British Columbia and Alberta.

Better management negotiated the deal not only at a small premium to the price of PLNT stock, but without incurring any debt or obligations held by JUSU.

The acquisition will join the JUSU lineup to the more than 35 products that Better already has registered with Health Canada, consisting of plant-based skin care formulas, health supplements, therapeutic formulas, edibles and beverage formulas. Better utilizes its proprietary hemp root oil extraction methods in manufacturing its high-end goods. The company’s family of consumer packaged goods brands are comprised of Urban Juve, Wright & Well, Wright & Well CBD, Jack & Jane and UJ Beverages.

Better also owns W&W Manufacturing, a U.S.-based manufacturer and distributor of plant-based (including CBD) health, beauty and wellness products; Yield Botanicals, an extraction technology company; a consultancy branded Thrive; and is the majority shareholder of NeonMind Biosciences, which specializes in functional and psychedelic mushrooms for wellness and medical purposes.

The combined company will find itself as an emerging player in the plant-based food and beverage alternatives market expected to reach $80.4 billion by 2024, according to BIS Research. The skincare market is a lucrative opportunity as well, forecast by Statista to reach $189 billion by 2025.

Shifting consumer trends towards brand loyalty based on social consciousness, genuine customer relationships and community-facing communication gives small companies like Better an opportunity to carve out market share from incumbents like Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA).

Bruce Mullen says that he founded JUSU in 2014 because of dissatisfaction with products on the market. “I wanted to be able to provide my family with natural products that are safe and effective,” said Mullen in a news release. Now that JUSU has a market presence, Mullen needed a seasoned team to scale.

“The Better Plant Sciences team is exactly the kind of partner that I have been looking for,” he added, concluding, “Their team has the knowledge, drive, and experience to take what I have built with JUSU to the next level.”

Synergies abound to reach that next level considering Better’s management team has deep experience with global brands including Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Skechers and Aritzia.

JUSU products are sold online, juice bar franchise location and at brick-and-mortar retailers, including Amaranth Markets, Carbon Environmental Boutique, Community Farm Store, Homegrown Foods, NudeMarket YYC, Soap Exchange and Strong Arm Cleaning Service, amongst others.

For its part, Better already sells its Urban Juve product line through its own e-commerce store, as well as Amazon, Pharmasave, Vitasave and other online retailers. Bringing together the brands in one product bag for cross-pollination through the diverse sales channels should serve to provide a boon to both as consumer demand continues to trend towards effective, environmentally friendly brands that promote sustainability.

“JUSU is at an inflection point and a perfect fold into our model to add considerable value to our portfolio immediately,” Better CEO Penny White told in a phone call following the acquisition news. “With 300 new products in our portfolio, we expect this merger to provide a significant positive benefit to our total corporate sales once we implement our modern marketing strategies.”

The markets cheered the buyout deal, sending shares of PLNT upwards 33.33% in Tuesday trading to 12 cents.

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