The swedish oat milk manufacturer oatly has-been valued at about $2bn in a funding round led by the worlds largest private equity firm blackstone that also drew in oprah winfrey and activity agency started by rapper jay-z.

Malmo-based oatly marketed an about 10 % share for $200m, funds it will probably used to increase manufacturing capacity as it taps growing demand for plant-based food and drink, and moves towards a potential preliminary public supplying or sale.

The hollywood star natalie portman, a high-profile recommend of veganism, has also been among the list of group purchasing into the business, along with former starbucks chief executive howard schultz, the investment arm of dutch team rabobank, exclusive equity firm orkila capital, and jay-zs business roc country.

Oatly, started into the 1990s, is continuing to grow rapidly lately as numerous customers have switched from milk and meat services and products to plant-based choices that are seen as healthiest and generally are created with reduced greenhouse fuel emissions.

Demand was in fact driven by millennials and more youthful alleged generation z consumers, stated toni petersson, leader. as soon as we glance at the demography 5 years from today, we think this is actually the start of the bend, he added.

The money round had been led by blackstone growth, which takes minority and majority stakes in exclusive organizations usually too tiny for personal equity. the division is run by jon korngold, previously of private equity firm general atlantic. last year, it committed to the dating application bumble.

Theres a restored focus globally on healthy, clean living, mr korngold said. they're not diets; they are one-way styles which replace the means consumers are voting making use of their wallets.

Oat milk had a froth like cows milk, unlike various other dairy options, he said, rendering it a popular option for coffee shops. it launched a cooperation with starbucks this season.

While blackstones funds take into account the largest chunk of $200m financial investment, mr korngold said the firm had brought together investors who be ambassadors when it comes to company. ms portman is renowned for championing sustainability and ms winfrey had an excellent global following and brand name, he said.

The crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic had made traditional full buyouts by private equity difficult to display because buyers and sellers objectives tended to be far apart, mr korngold said, nonetheless it had in addition made even more business owners keen to offer minority stakes.

Numerous founders wished a supertanker like blackstone that can help them navigate these choppy waters, he said.

The deal would enable oatly to gain access to services including logistics and procurement off their blackstone businesses, mr korngold added.

Oatly sold about $200m of items, such as alternatives to milk, yoghurt, cream-cheese and spreads, in 2019, roughly twice as much past year, and needs to increase sales again this current year, relating to someone familiar with the specific situation. however, due to the fact organization centers on development, it remains lossmaking.

Mr petersson stated the main challenge the organization was maintaining demand.

Oatly competes not merely with old-fashioned milk however with other designs of plant-based milk, like almond, which dominates the $2.4bn united states plant-based milk marketplace, in accordance with mintel. oat milk is getting ground-fast, but about doubling united states sales 12 months on year to about 12m in april, according to nielsen.

Mr korngold stated a number of patents held by oatly would help it to stay forward as competitors develops. the french international danone, the worlds largest maker of fresh milk products, has-been broadening its plant-based procedure and established a number of oat services and products this past year.