Oprah-Backed Drink Maker Oatly Files for U.S. IPO


Oatly AB, 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 U.S.

The listing will take place once the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has completed a review process, Malmo, Sweden-based Oatly said in a statement Tuesday. It didn’t provide further details on terms of the planned sale.

Oprah-Backed Drink Maker Oatly Files for U.S. IPO

Oatly, whose biggest shareholder is Belgian family-owned investment firm Verlinvest, submitted its registration documents under rules allowing companies to keep their financial information secret until shortly before they begin marketing the deal. Bloomberg News reported this month that the company is considering seeking a valuation of around $10 billion 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 fiber-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.

Last year, the company raised $200 million in funding from investors including Blackstone Group Inc. and Jay-Z. The funding round valued Oatly at roughly $2 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Verlinvest and China Resources Group 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 Inc. have risen 32% in U.S. trading over the last year. Beyond Meat remains unprofitable, as it’s had to spend heavily on product development, manufacturing and advertising, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

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