Oatly stock soars nearly 30 percent during the company’s public market

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Shares of the oat milk brand Oatly soared nearly 30 percent during the company’s public market debut Thursday.

The stock began trading around 11:45 a.m. ET at $22.12, about 30 percent above the IPO price, giving the company a valuation of $13.1 billion. The Malmo, Sweden-based company is now trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker “OTLY.” The company sells a milk substitute made from oats.

The oat-milk maker priced its IPO on Wednesday at $17 per share, at the top of its indicated range, giving it a valuation of $10 billion and raising over $1.4 billion from the sale of new and existing equity.

In addition to oat milk, the company also now sells some oat-based ice cream, yogurt, cooking creams and spreads. 

The company has scored some big-name investors. Last July, a group led by private equity giant Blackstone and that included Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, Jay-Z’s entertainment agency and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz invested $200 million in Oatly. 

That investment spurred criticism for Oatly from protestors who criticized the company’s ties to Blackstone, which has investments in a handful of companies that don’t share Oatly’s vision around sustainability.

The investment earned Oatly a $2 billion valuation, even though the company has yet to post a profit. While sales more than doubled from 2019 to hit $421.4 million last year, it posted a loss of $60.4 million as it invested in product development, new factories and marketing, according to its regulatory filing