Friday, May 21, 2021

"How Oatly went from a decades-old obscure brand to a $10 billion IPO" (OTLY)

 But first, an hysterical observation from Reuters Breakingviews:

Oatly often boasts its oat milk is particularly good for producing froth. The Swedish company has the same effect on investors. Shares in the maker of oat-based dairy substitutes opened 30% above their initial public offering price of $17 on Thursday, valuing it at around $13 billion. That should lure other purveyors of plant-based foods to the stock market.

The company led by Toni Petersson has enjoyed a dazzling rise. Powered by sharp marketing slogans such as "it’s like milk, but made for humans", and the backing of investors including Blackstone and Oprah Winfrey, Oatly has ridden the vogue for foods that produce fewer greenhouse gases and preserve water and land. Sales more than doubled to $421 million in 2020....MORE

Is it "an hysterical" or "a hysterical"? Churchill went with "A" for his book "A History of the English-Speaking Peoples" and he was pretty good with the words thing but sometimes "An" seems to fit better.

Be all that as it may be, here's CNBC, May 20:

Oat milk company Oatly makes its market debut Thursday, after pricing its IPO at $17 a share. The company raised $1.4 billion, valuing it at $10 billion

Oatly has become a popular new alt-milk in the United States. It can be found at Starbucks, and an investment group that includes Oprah Winfrey and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz invested $200 million in the company last year.

But while Oatly is pretty new to American consumers, the company and its signature product have been around for nearly three decades. Oat milk was invented in 1994 in Sweden by Oatly’s founders, brothers Rickard and Bjorn Oeste, who were researching an alternative to cow’s milk for people with lactose intolerance.

“Our founders just figured, OK, if vast majority of the world population are intolerant to milk why don’t we make something that is actually designed for human beings not baby cows?” Oatly CEO Toni Petersson previously told CNBC Make It.

And for decades, that’s where it languished. That is until Petersson came on as CEO in 2014.

Petersson gave Oatly a rebrand and set his sights on the America, where the plant-based milk market was growing.

First, he changed the logo, from having a small, red “Oatly” on the corner of the carton to bold block and bubble letters spelling out “OAT-LY!” front and center.....