Blackstone Group has led the latest funding round for Oatly, a Swedish company that produces oat milk and is valued at approximately $2 billion.
The round also attracted attention from Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z’s entertainment agency Roc Nation, Natalie Portman and a handful of other investment and private equity firms.
Oatly sold a roughly 10% stake for $200m, funds it will use to expand production capacity as it taps growing demand for plant-based food and drink, and moves towards a potential initial public offering or sale.
Toni Petersson, CEO of Oatly, told the Financial Times: “When we look at the demography five years from now, we think this is the very beginning of the curve.”
Blackstone Group takes minority and majority stakes in private companies traditionally too small for private equity. It took a majority stake in MagicLab just over eight months ago, when Andrey Andreev stepped down from his position as CEO.
Jon Korngold, the head of Blackstone’s Growth Equity investing platform, added: “There’s a renewed focus globally on healthy, clean living. These are not fads; these are one-way trends which change the way consumers are voting with their wallets.
“The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic had made traditional full buyouts by private equity “difficult to pull off” because buyers’ and sellers’ expectations tended to be far apart. Many founders wanted a “supertanker like Blackstone that can help them navigate these choppy waters.”
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