Oatly files supported by Oprah for IPO

Oatly Group AB filed formal paperwork for an IPO in the US on Monday, nine months after private equity giant Blackstone Group Inc.

BX 0.03%

and a handful of high profile celebrities took a stake in the oat milk producer.

The Malmö, Sweden-based company entered the US market in 2017 with its alternative dairy products that have grown in popularity with consumers looking for healthier options with less environmental impact.

Last July, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company had sold a $ 200 million stake to a group led by Blackstone, including Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, former Starbucks Corp. chief Howard Schultz, and the entertainment company founded by Jay-Z. The sale of the approximately 10% stake valued Oatly at approximately $ 2 billion. In February, the oat milk producer filed for an IPO in the US in confidence

According to Euromonitor, the retail value of the plant-based dairy industry in America is projected to reach $ 7 billion by 2025.

Dairy companies such as Dean Foods are under pressure due to the growing demand for plant-based alternatives Co.

, which filed for bankruptcy in 2019. Meanwhile, companies focusing on plant-based alternatives have seen demand from both consumers and investors take flight in recent years. For example, shares in vegetable food producer Beyond Meat Inc.

are up 441% since the IPO in 2019.

As part of its filing on Monday, the company said it had sales of $ 421.4 million in 2020, compared to $ 204 million in 2019. However, losses for the year amounted to $ 60.4 million, compared to $ 35.6 million a year earlier.

Oatly plans to raise $ 100 million from the sale of its US depositary stock, an alternate figure companies often use to calculate filing fees and change frequently. It has not disclosed how much ADS it plans to offer to the public, according to registration documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday.

The company plans to list its ADS on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol OTLY.

Founded in 1994, the company launched its first oat milk product under the brand name Oatly in 2001. Oatly says the oat milk making process, which involves soaking oats in water, uses less water than making almond milk. In addition to oat milk, the company makes products such as ice cream, yogurt and spreads.

Oatly intends to use the proceeds from the offering for working capital and to invest in growth and other general corporate purposes.

Write to Kimberly Chin at [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the April 20, 2021 print edition as ‘Celebrity-Backed Oatly Files Its Paperwork for an IPO.’