Swedish plant-based food and beverage brand Oatly has sold a minority stake in its business to a group of investors for $200 million.
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 round was led by investment firm Blackstone Growth, while additional celebrity investors include Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman and Roc Nation, an entertainment agency founded by Jay-Z.
Former Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, Orkila Capital and Rabobank’s investment arm also took part in the round.
Following the transaction, the new investors will become minority shareholders and will join Oatly’s existing partners including Verlinvest-CR JV and the company’s founders.
Founded in the 1990’s, Oatly’s products –including oat drinks, oatgurt and ice cream – are now available in more than 50,000 locations in 20 countries. The company’s overarching mission is to reduce the CO2e footprint of the food industry.
For Oatly’s CEO Toni Petersson, this investment demonstrates a major step in funding sustainable, society-altering companies. He 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.
“Since we re-launched our brand in 2013, our focus has been to positively impact society by enabling people to change their lives with better, more environmentally responsible food choices, and in so doing, re-shape the food system to better contribute to the future of the planet.
“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.”
Most recently, Oatly partnered with Starbucks, marking its biggest partnership in Asia to date, enabling customers at all China Starbucks stores to customise their beverages with Oatly’s oat milk.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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