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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Oatly Secures $200 Million Investment from Blackstone and Celebrities Including Oprah

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Oatly, the Swedish oat milk giant, is now valued at around $2 billion after Blackstone and a group of celebrities acquired roughly 10% of the brand.

Swedish oat milk company Oatly has acquired a $200 million investment in new capital from private-equity giant Blackstone Group Inc and celebrities that include the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz and the Jay Z-founded Roc Nation, reported the Wall Street Journal today.

The sale is valued to be roughly 10% of the oat milk company, which puts Oatly at around $2 billion. According to reports, Winfrey has shown interest in the health and wellness sector, and Schultz is making a personal investment into the company.

Meanwhile, Blackstone is known for big buyouts of stable cashflow-generating companies, but investing in fast-growing companies has been the company president Jonathan Gray’s strategy for “navigating an expensive market”.

Ann Chug, who led the investment, said: “There are very few brands out there that have this level of scale globally and yet are still early in their consumer-brand life cycle.”

Oatly’s founders, brothers Rickard and Björn Öste, will also be reinvesting in the company as part of the fundraising round. The company’s CEO, Toni Petersson, said in a statement: “We have Asian owners and European owners and wanted to bring U.S. owners into the company, too.” 

Oatly chairman Eric Melloul added: “I’ve been investing for the last 20 years in food and beverage brands and have rarely been that impressed by the growth trajectory.”

The plant-based company plans to use the investment to expand its existing markets in 20 countries, that will have brand hiring in Europe, United States and Asia. Oatly had also partnered with tech company Einride EV in May by using their all-electric commercial transport vehicles, which would reduce their carbon footprint.

Oatly is set to make an official announcement this week and could also be acquired by a prominent food conglomerate.

Anam Alam
Anam is a freelance writer for The Vegan Review and a student studying journalism. She is a passionate writer who possesses a range of skills ranging from audio, video, editorial and creative writing. Her goal is to educate the public and the world with stories that she feels need to be talked more about in society.