Jay-Z And Oprah Join Investor Group In Backing Swedish Oat Milk Brand With $200 Million Of Capital

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Written by Ann Brown
Jay-Z
Jay-Z, Oprah, and other celebs have joined an investor group in backing Swedish oat milk brand with $200 million of capital. Jay Z watches the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

As more and more consumers are looking for milk alternatives, Oatly, the popular Swedish oat milk brand, has attracted high-name celebrity investors. The company just received $200 million from a Blackstone-led, star-studded investment group that included Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z‘s entertainment agency (Roc Nation), former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and actress Natalie Portman.

According to Oatly spokesperson Sara Fletcher, the equity investment represents a 10 percent share of the company. The money will be used for  expanding production and distribution capabilities in Europe, the United States, and Asia, CNN reported.

This latest investment puts Oatly’s valuation at $2 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported and it could set the stage for Oatly to go public in the next 12 to 18 months or to be acquired.

Oatly was founded in the 1990s and entered the U.S. market just four years ago.

Oatly opened its first factory in the U.S. in 2018 and plans to open a second this year. Its products, which include oat milk, yogurt, and ice cream, are available at 50,000 locations across 20 countries, The BBC reported.

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“We chose to partner with Blackstone Group because of their tremendous resources and unique reach,” said chief executive Toni Petersson. “Our new partners’ commitment to supporting us and furthering our mission is a clear indication of where the world is heading, which is in a new, more sustainable direction.”

About 41 percent of U.S. households purchased vegan milk in 2019, found a report by the Good Food Institute and Plant Based Food Association.

Oatly reportedly had about $200 million in sales last year and expects to double that by 2021.