Today, Swedish vegan brand Oatly filed plans for an initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission, taking the first step to becoming a publicly traded company. Oatly hired Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and Credit Suisse as underwriters for the offering and the vegan company could be valued up to $10 billion, according to Reuters. The company could go public before this summer.
Last July, Oatly raised a $200 million investment from a group of investors led by equity giant Blackstone Group along with media mogul Oprah Winfrey, vegan actress Natalie Portman, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz, and Roc Nation—an entertainment agency founded by rapper Jay-Z. While the brand has wide availability in many parts of Europe, Oatly’s popularity in the US began in coffee shops throughout New York City around 2017. Since then, the brand has expanded to the retail sector and landed on the menu at Starbucks locations across the country. According to reports, the company made $400 million in 2020, double what it earned in 2019.
Investing in a vegan future
Once public, Oatly will become the latest vegan brand to hit the stock market after Beyond Meat’s hyper-successful IPO, which saw its stock prices spike up to 163 percent on its first day of trading in May 2019. In Canada, the Very Good Food Company (VGF)—parent company of Canadian vegan brand The Very Good Butchers (VGB)—saw an 800 percent increase in its stock value after its first few days of trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) in June 2020.
San Francisco-based startup Eat Just—maker of vegan JUST Egg—is also eyeing an IPO as a financing event. Last year, CEO Josh Tetrick revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted consumer behavior more rapidly toward plant-based products, stating that it “makes it more likely we’ll go public sooner.” Tetrick aims to reach operating profitability by the end of 2021, at which point he will consider taking the company public.
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