Swedish plant-based company Oatly is going public

Oatly, photo: Leon Seibert on Unsplash
Oatly, photo: Leon Seibert on Unsplash

The Swedish oat drink company Oatly plans to raise $1.43 billion by selling shares to the public, following an increasing demand for plant-based dairy. Shares are expected to be priced between $15 en $17.

The company, backed by Oprah Winfrey and Jay Z, is aiming for a valuation of about $10 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States.

“Oatly hits the market with two strong selling points. One, it sells a product that is good for you, and two, it’s a product that’s good for the environment, Kathleen Smith, co-founder of Renaissance Capital, told Reuters.

“And we see a lot of interest in this IPO. The good for you means an alternative to dairy products and for the environment. It’s good because they don’t use cows to make their product, which [cows] are not environmentally friendly,” Smith added.

Oatly currently sells its products in more than 7,500 retail stores and about 10,000 coffee shops across the United States, since entering the market in 2017.

More and more investors are looking into the plant-based food sector. An increasing number of upscale restaurants, cafes and fast-food chains are creating new vegan menus to attract customers and better the environment.

At the beginning of May, Eleven Madison Park, a Michelin three-star restaurant in New York City, announced they would serve a plant-based menu when they reopen for indoor dining in June.

Chef Daniel Humm said that it was becoming obvious to him and his team that the current animal-based food system is simply not sustainable.

Supermarkets and retail stores have also jumped on the train and have added vegan products to their dairy and meat sections.

“I think it’s all about the demand for the products and the growth, but it (Oatly) has growth and a good market share. And I think that that’s going to be good enough to make investors interested,” Smith said.

Oatly will list its shares under OTLY on the American stock exchange NASDAQ.

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