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Could Plant- Based Milk be the future: Oprah-Backed Oatly Files for IPO

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Oatly is a plant-based milk producer that entered the US market in 2017 from Europe. The company is now backed by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z

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Oatly, which was founded in 1994, launched its first oat milk product under the brand Oatly in 2001. 

According to a report on the WSJ, the Oatly Group AB has formally filed paperwork Monday for an initial public offering in the U.S., nine months after private-equity giant Blackstone Group Inc. and a handful high-profile celebrities took a stake in the oat milk producer.

Oatly which is a Sweden-based company entered the U.S. market in 2017 with its alternative dairy products that have grown in popularity among consumers seeking healthier options with less impact on the environment.

Last July, The Wall Street Journal reported the company had sold a $200 million stake to a group led by Blackstone and included Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, former Starbucks Corp. chief Howard Schultz and the entertainment company founded by Jay-Z. The sale of the roughly 10% stake valued Oatly at about $2 billion. In February, the oat-milk maker confidentially filed for an IPO in the U.S.

The retail value of the plant-based dairy industry in the Americas is expected to hit $7 billion by 2025, according to Euromonitor.

While plant-based milk production  remains a small market globally and non-existent in various African nations, there is a possible business opportunity for African entrepreneurs to tap into this growing trend.

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