The Oatly IPO, announced this morning, could be valued at $10 billion. This means that shares of the Swedish milk company will be available to institutional and retail investors in the U.S. for the first time.
According to a statement released via Bloomberg on Tuesday, the Oatly IPO will take place once the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission completes its review process.
Bloomberg also recently reported that Oatly may seek a value of around $10 billion for its U.S. listing. According to Pitchbook data, the company was valued at approximately $2 billion in July 2020.
Last year, Oatly raised $200 million in funding from various backers led by the investment company Blackstone. Backers include Oprah, Natalie Portman, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and Roc Nation — an entertainment agency founded by Jay-Z in 2008.
“We have Asian owners and European owners and wanted to bring U.S. owners into the company, too,” explained Oatly CEO Toni Petersson at the time.
Oatly is just the latest vegan company to go public, and this news follows the IPO of Eat Beyond Global Holdings Inc. and Natural Order Acquisition Corp. in November.
Vegan food tech company Eat Just revealed its plans to IPO in August of last year, while Beyond Meat became the first-ever vegan company to IPO in May 2019. The brand was worth $13 billion just three months after it went public.
Oat milk shortages and consumer demand
Brothers Rickard and Bjorn Oste founded Oatly in 1994, but their milk brand only entered the U.S. market in 2016. Demand grew quickly, leaving shortages across the U.S and in the UK during which people paid upwards of $200 for a 12-pack of the vegan milk.
Since the early days of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, oat milk has experienced an additional, significant boost in sales — at one point even outselling hand sanitizer. Nielsen Data revealed that oat milk sales increased by 476.7 percent in a single week-long period ending March 14.
Earlier this month, Research and Markets reported that the global vegan milk market, in general, could reach $21.52 billion by 2024. Due to both this increasing demand and Oatly’s rapid growth — last year reaching $200 million in sales in the U.S. alone — now is the perfect time for the company to IPO.
Over 20 different countries across Europe and Asia now sell Oatly products, and cafes and coffee shops favor its Barista blend, in particular. Oatly is now widely available in the U.S., including from large chains such as Starbucks, Kroger, and Walmart.
The company gained further attention during the recent Super Bowl LV with its first, intentionally divisive, mid-game commercial slot. This is in keeping with the company’s aim to get consumers thinking or talking about plant-based milk, one way or another.
“It’s just the right time right now for us to make a bigger statement to the whole national audience,” explained John Schoolcraft, Oatly’s chief creative officer.