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Long Blockchain in deal to sell iced tea business

Long Blockchain Corp. has reached an agreement to

Long Blockchain Corp. has reached an agreement to sell its Long Island Iced Tea business to a Canadian investment firm. Shown here, a refrigerator holding bottles of tea in the lobby of Farmingdale-based Long Blockchain. Credit: Newsday / Kenneth Schachter

Long Blockchain Corp. has reached a "definitive agreement" to sell its iced tea business to a Canadian investment firm, the company announced.

Long Blockchain and the iced tea business, Long Island Brand Beverages LLC, will remain in Farmingdale "in the near future," Andy Shape, chief executive of Long Blockchain, said in a telephone interview Monday. He said the deal is expected to close in October or November.

The move comes about 19 months after Long Blockchain announced plans to spin off the iced tea business and eight months after the company entered into a letter of intent to sell the business to the Canadian company, ECC Ventures 2 Corp.

Shape said the definitive deal would roughly follow the contours of the letter of intent.

That agreement called for ECC Ventures 2, a Vancouver investment company, to pay Long Blockchain $500,000 Canadian and 15.5 million shares of ECC Ventures 2.

In December 2017, Long Island Iced Tea Corp. announced it was changing its name to Long Blockchain Corp.and that it would refocus its business on blockchain, the technology behind the digital currency bitcoin.

The company’s stock soared as high as $9.49 after the announcement that December. Shares of Long Blockchain, however, have plummeted along with the price of bitcoin, the most prominent cryptocurrency.

Shares of Long Blockchain dipped in Monday trading but closed unchanged at 30 cents. The sale of the iced tea business was announced after Friday's stock market close. Shares in ECC Ventures 2 last traded at 17 cents Canadian, according to Bloomberg.

Shape also heads privately held Stran Promotional Solutions, a promotional, gift card and loyalty marketing company in Quincy, Massachusetts.

He said Long Blockchain is exploring how to expand the loyalty business by using blockchain technology to manage the supply chain.

Scott Ackerman, CEO of ECC Ventures 2 and president and CEO of Vancouver-based Emprise Capital Corp., is expected to join the board of the iced tea company once the deal closes. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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