A group led by private-equity giant Blackstone Group Inc. has agreed to invest $200 million in Swedish oat-milk company Oatly, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The investors include Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, former Starbucks Corp. chief Howard Schultz, the entertainment company founded by Jay-Z, as well as the growth-investment firm Orkila Capital LLC and the investment arm of Rabobank.
The investment will pave the way for Oatly to launch a possible initial public offering over the next 12 to 18 months, the report said citing sources.
An Acquisition Target
It will also make the company an acquisition target for big food conglomerates as the demand for plant-based food continues to soar.
The new investors will join the company’s existing partners as minority shareholders as the investment accounts for approximately 10% stake in the company.
In addition, the founders of Oatly, Rickard and Björn Öste, will also be reinvesting in the company as part of the fundraising round, the report said.
Oatly, which operates mainly in Europe and China, entered the US market four years ago and reported sales worth about $200 million in 2019.
According to data from Nielsen, the sales of oat milk in US stores grew 300% year-on-year in the 16 weeks ended June 20, the report added.