Beyond Meat's Early Backers Score $155 Million in First Sale

(Bloomberg) -- Beyond Meat Inc.’s earliest investors Kleiner Perkins and Obvious Ventures stand to make millions of dollars as they take advantage of the alternative meat maker’s secondary offering, allowing them to sell shares months before a post-IPO selling restriction would ordinarily expire.

The company’s two largest shareholders are selling a combined 970,539 shares, according to filings. At a discounted $160 a share, the venture capital firms stand to get $155 million in gross proceeds. The transaction is expected to close on August 5.

Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown, who is offering about 39,130 shares himself, is poised to make $6.3 million. Other executives including CFO Mark Nelson and Chief Growth Officer Charles Muth are also selling shares, filings show.

Shares fell as much as 12.5% to $172 on Thursday. The stock has lost a quarter of its value this week so far.

Beyond Meat's Early Backers Score $155 Million in First Sale

Beyond Meat surprised investors with the secondary offering on Monday. The transaction includes 250,000 shares held by the company and 3 million held by stockholders. Together, the sale represents about 5% of the company’s outstanding shares on the market.

Beyond Meat was the first IPO of 2019 to have its lockup period waived for an early secondary offering. Insiders are still prohibited from selling more shares until late October, because the lockup was waived only for the latest offering.

Kleiner Perkins was the only institutional investor in the first financing round in Beyond Meat back in 2011, according to its website. Twitter Inc. co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone of Obvious Ventures first invested in Beyond Meat in early 2012.

The firms have seen the value of their early investments soar after a seven-fold gain since the stock’s debut through Thursday. After the latest sale, Kleiner Perkins still retains a $1.3 billion stake in Beyond Meat as of 9:35 a.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Obvious Ventures still holds about $700 million worth of shares.

Kleiner Perkins didn’t return requests for comment while an Obvious Ventures representative declined to comment. So did Beyond Meat management on its earnings call earlier this week, citing “regulatory requirements.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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