Oatly CEO sees an extended runway for progress on its Wall Avenue debut

With a $10 billion valuation and an organization that’s rising worldwide, Oatly CEO Toni Petersson projected confidence within the continued energy of oat milk the morning earlier than his firm’s shares started buying and selling on the open market.

“We’re bringing new capability on board each single quarter this yr,” Petersson mentioned at a digital press convention Thursday morning. “Our progress is totally reliant on our provide and our capacity to provide. And, I imply, 2020 was a troublesome yr for everyone. We produced greater than deliberate. We generated triple-digit progress efficiently throughout three continents, with out seeing one another. It simply speaks about how stable our construction and our enterprise is. I sit right here in entrance of you at the moment feeling tremendous comfy the place we’re.”

Oatly, which has been on a meteoric rise, is the newest firm within the plant-based phase to enter the markets. Buying and selling of its shares, with the ticker image OTLY, startedat a $17 share value at the moment when the Nasdaq opened.

The Sweden-based firm, which may be credited with inventing oat milk within the Nineteen Nineties, has been a pressure within the plant-based sector. Its merchandise first launched in Europe three many years in the past, and the corporate has been rising since then. Oatly entered the USA by means of espresso retailers in 2016, and has expanded its choices right here to grocery cabinets, together with oat milk-based “Oatgurt” and frozen desserts. The model helped drive oat milk to be the second hottest plant-based milk in the USA, behind almond milk, in keeping with SPINS statistics.

Toni Petersson

Courtesy of Oatly


In keeping with its F-1 type filed with the U.S. Securities and Alternate Fee as a part of its preliminary public providing, Oatly bought $421.4 million value of merchandise in 20 nations worldwide 2020, a rise of 106% over gross sales in 2019. The Americas was Oatly’s second largest market, answerable for $100 million of these gross sales, and 71% of the corporate’s whole gross income got here from retail gross sales.

Petersson mentioned Thursday morning that Oatly has a large runway for progress. All gross sales misplaced from espresso retailers throughout pandemic-related closures had been backfilled by extra gross sales in grocery shops, he mentioned. Within the U.S. final yr, the corporate had a weighted distribution fee to retailers of 20%, whereas opponents had been in a position to attain 40%, he mentioned. The corporate also can fill about 70% of the orders it receives from retailers worldwide. Bringing extra factories on-line may also help fill these gaps and make an enormous distinction, Petersson mentioned. He added that these numbers solely seize orders of Oatly’s merchandise.

“We do not actually know what the demand is,” Petersson mentioned. “Our progress is 100% associated on velocity — natural demand and velocity. We’re not pushing by means of promotions or value mechanisms or something like that. So we’re clearly altering the sport of the entire trade right here.”

With shares bought, Oatly has raised about $1.4 billion. The corporate’s fast growth makes now the fitting time for an IPO, Petersson mentioned. Oatly presently has 4 vegetation working worldwide, with one every in Sweden, the Netherlands, New Jersey and the most recent in Utah. Much more manufacturing capability is coming with 5 world factories presently beneath building and nearing completion within the U.S., the U.Okay.China, Singapore, and one other in Southeast Asia. There are additionally three manufacturing unit expansions deliberate for completion by 2022 in Sweden, the Netherlands and New Jersey.

One factor Oatly doesn’t plan to do with the inflow of money from the IPO is make any acquisitions, Petersson mentioned. Its focus proper now could be regional innovation, manufacturing and creativity. The corporate is uniquely positioned with a world platform, he mentioned.

“We actually, actually imagine in our plan … and in that plan, there’s actually no purpose for us to have a look at M&A,” Petersson mentioned. “I am not excluding that utterly, however proper now we do not see that being a part of the plan going ahead.”

Sustainability — and attempting to make the world a greater place — stays on the core of what Oatly is doing and hopes to realize, Petersson mentioned. Some have questioned if a various group of traders may alter this dedication. The corporate bought a stake final yr to a gaggle of traders that included Blackstone Group. This grew to become controversial due to Blackstone founder Stephen Schwartzman’s donations to former President Donald Trump and the agency’s ties to 2 Brazilian corporations which might be reportedly linked with deforestation within the Amazon. Petersson mentioned this stake had no affect on Oatly’s deep dedication to sustainability.

“However I positive hope it impacts [Blackstone] in how they take a look at sustainability,” Petersson mentioned. “We’re the benchmark. We’re right here to show that it is extra worthwhile to do good for the world.”

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