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May 20, 2021

Oatly IPO raises US$1.4bn

Oatly, the Sweden-based business that has been at the forefront of the growing market for oat-based alternatives for dairy, has raised US$1.4bn from its initial public offering of shares.

The company, which has attracted the financial backing of investors from rapper Jay-Z and actress Natalie Portman to ex-Starbucks boss Howard Schultz, said it priced 84.4 million American depositary shares at US$17 each.

Just over 64.6m of the shares are being offered by Oatly, with the rest from unnamed investors. The shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market today (20 May) under the ticker symbol OTLY.

The business, which supplies around 20 global markets, including the UK, the US and Australia, will use the funds raised to pay off around $200m in debt, finance the company’s future growth and expansion, and for working capital.

In 2016, the Belgium-based private-equity firm Verlinvest and Chinese state-owned conglomerate China Resources took an undisclosed stake in Oatly via a new joint venture focused on health and consumer products.

Last summer, Oatly also sold a minority stake as part of a $200m financing round led by US-based private-equity firm Blackstone Group, with contributions from rapper Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation, celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Portman, former Starbucks chief Schultz, plus Rabo Corporate Investments, the investment arm of Rabobank.

In its financial year ended on 31 December, Oatly posted revenues of $421.4m, an increase of more than 100% on the previous 12 months, but recorded a loss of $60.4m due to investments in production and new markets, according to the IPO prospectus.

And last month, Oatly suggested it could also seek an IPO in Hong Kong.

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