Picture: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Picture: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

New York — Oatly, the vegan food and drink maker backed by celebrity entrepreneurs Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z, has confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the US and is seeking a valuation of about $10bn in the listing.

The listing will take place once the US Securities and Exchange Commission has completed a review process, Malmo, Sweden-based Oatly said in a statement on Tuesday.

Oatly, whose biggest shareholder is Belgian family-owned investment firm Verlinvest, didn’t provide further details on terms of the planned share sale. Bloomberg News reported this month that the company is considering seeking a valuation of about $10bn in the listing.

Oatly was founded in the 1990s by brothers Rickard and Bjorn Oste. Using technology based on research from Sweden’s Lund University, the company turns fibre-rich oats into liquid food. Its products continue to attract a following among latte drinkers from New York to Shanghai, thanks to frothing qualities that emulate dairy milk.

In 2020, the company raised $200m in funding from investors including Blackstone and Jay-Z. The funding round valued Oatly at roughly $2bn, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Verlinvest and China Resources were among Oatly’s earliest backers, buying an undisclosed stake in 2016.

Plant-based food and drink companies are hoping to tap into increasing consumer demand for animal product alternatives. Shares of Beyond Meat have risen 32% in US trading over the past year. Beyond Meat remains unprofitable, as it’s had to spend heavily on product development, manufacturing and advertising, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Bloomberg

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