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Zoetic Interntnl PLC (ZOE)

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Thursday 29 July, 2021

Zoetic Interntnl PLC

Business Update

RNS Number : 8312G
Zoetic International PLC
29 July 2021
 

 THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF REGULATION 11 OF THE MARKET ABUSE (AMENDMENT) (EU EXIT) REGULATIONS 2019/310 

 


29 July 2021

 

Zoetic International plc

('ZOE', the 'Company' or the 'Group')

 

Business Update

 

'Combination of Chill.com and the secured distribution network,

places the Group in a strong position for building a leading global CPG brand'

 

Zoetic (LON:ZOE) (OTCQX:ZOEIF), the international CBD group, is pleased to provide the following update on its operations.

 

Overview

 

● Game-changing domain acquisition of Chill.com

○ Asset among the most transformative domain acquisitions of 2021

○ Unlocks intrinsic and intangible asset value of the Chill.com brand

○ Marquee domain purchase expands online sales and marketing opportunities

 

● Transformative rebranding initiative underway

○ Intention to change Zoetic International plc to Chill Brands Group plc and Chill renamed to CHILL.COM

○ Intention to change stock ticker to CHLL to emphasise focus on building Chill.com-branded consumer-packaged goods (CPG) and CBD products

○ Receipt of US Trademark and Patent office official trademark certification of Chill.com logo to complement existing European trademarks

○ Marquee domain purchase expands online sales and marketing opportunities

 

● U.S. market development advances

○ Chill products stocked in approximately 2,500 multi-state retail outlets

○ Cadence and schedule of previously announced 3,500-store rollout modified in collaboration with major US partner

○ Ongoing Florida-based rollout used to assess and maximise effectiveness of regional sales and promotional efforts

○ In active negotiations with major US online affiliate retailers

○ Chill.com-branded tobacco alternatives announced as finalist for National Association of Convenience Store, Retailer Choice Best New Product Contest alongside brands from major corporations in category

○ Domestic headquarters in Colorado now located within public/private partnership business park development for innovation companies

 

● New products enter international market

○ Online launch of Chill CBD in the UK

○ New Zoetic anti-ageing skincare products shortlisted for cosmetics awards

○ Pursuing a new and potentially transformative future Chill.com product line with international partner

 

● Management receives continual interest in licensing, acquisition and partnership opportunities

○ Actively exploring value-accretive joint venture opportunities in Europe

 

● Board and Management appointments planned

○ US convenience store veteran and partner in Zoetic's Master Distributor, Eric Schrader to be appointed to the Zoetic International plc Board as a Non-Executive Director as at 1 August 2021

○ In active discussions with potential candidates for appointment of plc Chair with extensive CPG and online sales and distribution.

 

US Expansion

 

The Group's rollout of Chill-branded CBD tobacco alternative product continues with speed and scale.  In coordination with major US launch partners, the Group has modified brick and mortar location expansion effort timelines.  This timeline modification is to assess and enhance the effectiveness of promotional efforts, sell rates and the use of partners' proprietary tools and technologies.  The Group and its partners continue adapting to COVID-19-related logistical challenges.

 

As part of an active support programme for retailers, management has visited some of the 500 latest stores that are part of the current Florida roll-out.  Management interviewed store managers and owner-operators about the initial product reception and received encouraging feedback.  The Group continues to enter all previously announced locations.  Chill products are now stocked in approximately 2,500 brick and mortar outlets across the US.  The expansion is set to accelerate in the coming months and the Group looks forward to updating the market accordingly.

 

The Group's Chill product range has and continues to be well received by the US retail operators that have been selected by the Group's distribution partners.  Tim Greene, Category Director, GM and Tobacco at Smoker Friendly, America's largest cigarette and tobacco store retailer, said: "Chill CBD pouches and smokes are another example of the Group's continual spirit of innovation and our ability to participate in launching incredible brands that offer consistent choice and satisfaction to our customers."

 

The Group has now received orders for Chill products totalling more than US$2.0 million.  This follows previous announcements issued on 17 May 2021 and 1 July 2021 of combined sales totalling US$1.34 million and US$0.72 million respectively.  Margins, as previously announced, have been maintained across all product lines and the Board expects these to grow in-line with manufacturing volumes.

 

Antonio Russo, Co-CEO of Zoetic, said: "The intrinsic value of our Chill Brand has positioned us with one of the most widely celebrated product launch programmes.  This launch is happening in partnership with one of the largest and most trusted convenience store associations in North America.  They believe in the Chill brands and we believe that their experience and expertise will help us deliver on our strategic objectives and create additional value for shareholders."

 

International Product Launches

 

The Company's Chill.com-branded CBD product line launched in the UK on 30 June 2021.  The products have attracted significant consumer interest, paving the way towards a promising future as a forerunner of what is expected to be a lucrative UK market.

 

A new anti-ageing skincare product line was simultaneously added to the Zoetic range of CBD cosmetics products. Several of these new products have now been recognised and shortlisted by prestigious industry awards bodies and the wider range continues to attract critical acclaim.  The accolades received by the Zoetic Brand have resulted in significant interest from potential partners.

 

Antonio Russo commented : "The interest we receive on a regular basis confirms the value we have created for investors with this amazing, category-leading cosmetic brand.  All options remain on the table when it comes to unlocking this value for our shareholders."

 

The Company looks forward to providing further updates regarding the status of Chill.com's activity in the near future.

 

Transformative Rebranding Initiative

 

The Group is pleased to announce that it has embarked on a radical rebranding campaign that will bring its corporate image into step with its market activities.  The existing plc company will be renamed Chill Brands Group while the Company's wholly owned subsidiary Chill will be renamed CHILL.COM.  The Group's stock ticker will be updated from ZOE to CHLL.  A further announcement will be made in due course.

 

With renewed focus on the Group's emergence as a serious challenger to some of the world's best-known consumer packaged goods ('CPG') brands, these rebranding efforts accelerate the way towards a strong commercial future across all product ranges.

 

The acquisition of the sought-after Chill.com domain name has been fully executed and the domain now serves as the online home and launch pad for the Group's expanding Chill Brands of lifestyle products. The Group continues to explore new sales and business development opportunities arising from its ownership of this strategic brand anchor.

 

In light of these developments, the Group is also pleased to report that it has secured US Trademark and Patent Office official trademark certification for the Chill.com logo. This trademark certification complements parallel registrations in the UK and serves to confirm the Group's commitment to protecting its intellectual property rights as it works to build a strong consumer-focused brand.

 

Tessa Holcolm, a renowned US-based domain broker who assisted with the transaction, said: "The management team at Chill should be commended for the strategic acquisition of Chill.com.  Rarely do domain assets like Chill.com become available, and rarely do companies move quickly and decisively enough to secure online real estate that is also the name of their brand.  Chill.com has the potential to transform the Group's future and is one of the significant domain transactions of the year."

 

Board and Management Appointments

 

The Group is pleased to announce Eric Schrader has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Company, with effect from 1 August 2021.  Eric is a nationally recognised former convenience store owner and operator, as well as a partner at the Group's master distributor, Ox Distributing LLC.

 

Eric is a long-time proponent of the Group and previously assisted with its efforts to achieve rapid commercialisation within convenience stores through his work with Ox Distributing LLC.  His extensive expertise in retail and distribution will be of substantial value to the Group.

 

The Group's search for a Chair continues as it seeks to identify highly experienced candidates with a proven track record within the CPG and multi-channel retail space.

 

Trevor Taylor, Co-CEO of Zoetic, said: " We are optimistic about our future and believe we are building a brand and corporate culture that will support one of the next great global CPG brands.  The expansion of our distribution channels both within the U.S. and internationally is complemented by the superb operational execution of our partners and management team.  We welcome Eric to the Board and are thankful for the game-changing partnerships we have secured with organisations that believe in our vision."

 

Antonio Russo added:   "The strategy we are pursuing for the deployment of our Chill-branded products is unique and will accelerate the success of our Chill Brands going forwards.  The acquisition of Chill.com signals to the market we believe in the intrinsic value of the brand.  We are finalists for one of the most exciting CPG awards of the year that has placed us side-by-side with some of the largest CPG companies in the world today.  This is made possible by our national rollout partners and together we are just getting started bringing forward the value we know exists in Chill.com and our Chill Brands product line."

 

- Ends -

 

Publication on website

 

A copy of this announcement is also available on the Group's website at www.zoeticinternational.com

 

Media enquiries:

 

Zoetic International plc


c/o Buchanan

Trevor Taylor, Co-CEO

Antonio Russo, Co-CEO

 



Allenby Capital Limited (Financial Adviser and Broker)


+44 (0) 20 3328 5656

Nick Harriss/Nick Naylor (Corporate Finance)



Kelly Gardiner (Equity Sales)

 



Buchanan



Henry Harrison-Topham / Jamie Hooper / Ariadna Peretz


Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000

[email protected]


www.buchanan.uk.com

 

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