Vegan milk maker Oatly seeks US$10 billion valuation in IPO

Oprah Winfrey-backed vegan milk maker Oatly is aiming for a valuation of about US$10 billion in a U.S. initial public offering, following increasing consumer demand for plant-based dairy.

The company, whose investors also include rapper Jay-Z and former Starbucks head Howard Schultz, plans to offer nearly 65 million American depositary shares and an additional 20 million shares from existing shareholders priced between $15 and $17 apiece, according to a regulatory filing on May 11 (all figures US$).

The company plans to raise about $1.43 billion through the IPO.

The plant-based food sector is drawing more attention from investors, as an increasing number of cafés, upscale restaurants and fast-food chains create new menus to attract diners. Supermarkets and retail stores have also added a number of plant-based options to their dairy section.

Starbucks offered two new beverages with Oatly milk, an Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso and Honey Oatmilk Latte, both soon becoming crowd favourites.

Billed as the largest oat milk company in the world, the company said it plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to clear debt and fund its expansion. It currently sells its products in more than 7,500 retail stores and about 10,000 coffee shops across the U.S. since entering the market in 2017.

Impossible Foods, the maker of plant-based burger patties, is preparing for a public listing which could value the company at around $10 billion or more, Reuters reported in April. This comes after Beyond Meat’s blockbuster IPO in 2019.

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