Oprah and Jay-Z-backed Oatly files to go public

  • Posted on February 26, 2021
  • IPO
  • By Glory

Vegan food and drink maker Oatly has confidentially filed for an initial public offering.

The Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z-backed brand said the listing will take place as soon as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission completes the review process, the Sweden-based Oatly said in a statement on Tuesday. Further details about the filing were not mentioned.

The vegan company’s largest shareholder, Verlinvest was required to submit its registration documents in compliance to the rules that allow companies to keep their financial information confidential until they begin marketing the deal, according to Bloomberg. The company reportedly seeks a valuation of about $10 billion in the listing.

Oatly told Reuters that it has hired Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and JPMorgan as underwriters on the offering. Although the company is yet to determine the proposed listing price and the number of shares offered, all of which can determine the company’s overall valuation.

Last July, Oatly was valued at $2 billion, according to PitchBook. More attention was drawn to the company after an unusual Super Bowl commercial that showed the company CEO Toni Petersson playing a keyboard in an oat field singing/screaming, “It’s like milk, but made for humans … Wow, no cow, wow. Wow, no cow.”

Oatly is a vegan food and drink company founded in the 1990s by the Oste brothers, Rickard and Bjorn. The company processes fiber-rich oats into milk using technology developed by Sweden’s Lund University. Its product’s foaming qualities are quite similar to dairy milk and are sold in over 20 countries across Europe.

Oatly is mostly known for its milk products and is sold in several cafes across the United States including Starbucks. Its products are also sold online and in retail stores.

In 2020, the plant-based food and drink company raised $200 million in funding from investors including Blackstone Group Inc. and rapper Jay-Z. Other Oatly investors include Verlinvest and China Resources Group, which were the company’s earliest investors, each buying stakes at an undisclosed amount in 2016.

“Oatly raised a $200 million equity investment in July last year from a group led by Blackstone Group that includes Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, and former Starbucks Corp chief Howard Schultz,” reported Daily Mail. “The new investors also included Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation, Orkila Capital, and Rabobank’s Rabo Corporate Investments.”

The Oatly listing comes as the plant-based food industry has become more attractive to investors in the past few years, especially as restaurant chains are including healthier options on their menus. According to research, most plant-based products are consumed by millennials and generation Z consumers who are willing to spend on healthier and more sustainable options.

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