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July 14, 2020

Oatly eyes expansion after Blackstone-led funding round

Sweden-based dairy-free business Oatly has had a funding round led by a US private-equity firm, it has announced.

By Leonie Barrie

Sweden-based dairy-free business Oatly has sold a minority stake in the business for US$200m in a funding round led by US private-equity firm Blackstone Group.

Oatly says it will use the capital to fund its expansion in current markets, as well as new production plants and related jobs in Europe, the US and Asia.

The New York-based private equity firm’s Blackstone Growth platform was joined in the funding round by investors including rapper Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation, celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Natalie Portman, the former Starbucks chairman and CEO, Howard Schultz, plus Rabo Corporate Investments, the investment arm of Rabobank. 

The new investors will join the company’s existing partners, including Belgium-based private-equity firm Verlinvest, and the company’s founders.

As part of this transaction, Oatly’s founders will also be reinvesting in the company.

Oatly is known for its oatmilk-based products, which are now available in 50,000 locations in 20 countries.

Commenting on the stake sale, Oatly CEO Toni Petersson said: “Leaders in asset management like Blackstone play an essential role in order to create real sustainable change. It is my belief that capital has to turn green and do so for the right reasons.”

He added: “We chose to partner with Blackstone Growth because of their tremendous resources and unique reach. Our new partners’ commitment to supporting us and furthering of our mission is a clear indication of where the world is heading, which is in a new, more sustainable direction.”

Jon Korngold, global head of Blackstone Growth, said: “Oatly is a premier global brand whose product is committed to healthy and sustainable living with significant runway for continued growth to meet rising consumer demand. We are privileged to partner with Toni and the broader Oatly team to help the company extend its global leadership position in the years to come.”

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