Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Marley Coffee USA for sale

Published:Wednesday | August 24, 2016 | 8:00 AMSteven Jackson

Jammin Java Corp will seek to sell the coffee company if its countersuit against former chairman Rohan Marley and push to regain licensing control of the Marley Coffee name fail.

Marley stepped down as chairman of Jammin Java last month amid a dispute. The company trades as Marley Coffee.

Following his departure, the Marley family-owned entity, 56 Hope Road, announced it would terminate its short-term licence agreement with US-based Jammin Java, in essence denying the company the right to use the Marley Coffee name.

The stock now trades at a penny, down from a dime in June and US 14 cents in March.

"The only time Jammin Java has heard from Rohan in the last month was when I countersued," said CEO Brent Toevs on Tuesday. "It makes me sick."

Toevs spent five years as CEO growing the brand from essentially nil to US$13 million in annual revenues. Toevs said he was on the cusp of raising millions of dollars through an investment firm SCB Investments, which would have received an equity stake in the company. That fell through with the pulling of the licence, Toevs explained. Since that time, sales have slowed, creditors are unpaid and the company started staff layoffs.

"There is [Sic] huge damages involved. Before the licence was terminated, Jammin Java was valued at nine cents per share, but is now valued at US$0.01 a share," he said.

Gleaner Business tried without success to contact Rohan Marley for comment.

NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

The brand obtained entry into 12,000 grocery stores in North America for more than many competitors. It wants to use this as retail real estate to offer to prospective buyers of the company.

"So we have brought in some people to look at the company who signed non-disclosure agreements for a possible buyout of the biz. But they need the Marleys to offer a long-term licensing agreement," he said.

Last week, Toevs issued a statement to shareholders indicating that the company might file for bankruptcy if issues with 56 Hope Road are unresolved.

In early August, 56 Hope Road filed a complaint against Jammin Java in a California court, and requested a temporary restraining order.

"We also filed our answer to the complaint and asserted counterclaims against 56 HR and third-party claims against Rohan Marley. We believe that our claims have merit and that we will be successful in the litigation," stated Toevs in the statement.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com