Wow, No Cow! Oatly submits plans for an IPO

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture credit: Oatly
Picture credit: Oatly

Related tags: Oatly, IPO

Oatmilk maker Oatly has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said the company Tuesday morning.

In a statement​ on its website, the brand - which generated a lot of buzz with a polarizing Super Bowl commercial featuring its CEO singing 'Wow, No Cow' in a field - said it had confidentially submitted a filing with the SEC on a proposed IPO.

The number of shares to be offered and the price range have not yet been determined, although people close to the matter told Reuters​ it could be valued at “more than $5bn, possibly up to $10bn.”

Oatly​​ ​​- which is based in Malmö, Sweden and has operations in 20 countries -  launched in the US in coffee shops in late 2016 with a 3% fat barista edition, and now supplies thousands of stores with a range of oatmilks, frozen desserts and 'oatgurt.'

It initially struggled to keep up with explosive demand​ (oatmilk recently overtook soymilk to become the #2 player in the US plant-based milk category behind almondmilk, generated triple digit growth last year), but has since opened production facilities in New Jersey and Utah, and works with a network of co-packers.

In July, Oatly sold a $200m stake — roughly 10% of the company — to a group of start-studded group of investors including Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, Roc Nation (owned by Jay-Z), ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and Blackstone Growth.

Oatly is one of several high-profile food brands mulling an IPO, including Chobani (which has recently moved into the oatmilk category) and Eat Just, with CEO Josh Tetrick telling this publication last year​​ ​​that, “It’s always been my perspective that eventually going public made the most sense in terms of keeping true to the mission of the company, and today that path seems clearer.”

Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya said: ​"An IPO  is definitely one exciting direction but whether or not we’re public, we’ll keep disrupting and making things better.”​​​

Pasture-raised egg firm Vital Farms​​​ went public in 2020, while Beyond Meat​​​ went public in 2019.

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