Oatly, Sweden’s fast growing lifestyle brand of plant-based products
welcomes a new partnership with Verlinvest and China Resources to offer its sustainable and healthy product range to a global audience
Malmö, 2nd December 2016 – Oatly, Scandinavia’s leading lifestyle brand of plant-based products, is pleased to announce that it can now count a newly established Joint-Venture between Verlinvest, the international consumer-focused investor, and China Resources as shareholders. Under the terms of the transaction, China Resources and Verlinvest will invest alongside the Founders and existing shareholders to expand Oatly’s manufacturing footprint in Sweden and fund the Group’s entry into new markets including China and the US.
Oatly is Scandinavia’s leading brand of plant-based, dairy-free products, with a c.40% market share in Sweden. The Company is a pioneer in the Swedish food industry and, through its sustainable high-fibre dairy-free oat-based range, empowers consumers to eat in an ethical and environmentally-friendly way. This new partnership with Verlinvest and China Resources will enable further investment in the group’s R&D facilities and bring new opportunities to offer Oatly’s unique brand of simple, natural Swedish liquid oat goodness to new consumers worldwide.
“Oatly’s mission is to make it easy for people to eat the healthy food they love, without recklessly taxing the planet’s resources in the process. In China Resources’ and Verlinvest’s Joint-Venture we have found a highly experienced global-minded partner who understands this unique heritage and brings to Oatly a valuable network as well as operational expertise in key markets. It will help us bring Oatly’s values and unique patented oat-based technology to new consumers across the world. The investment enables us to add further production capacity and product development resources in Landskrona, creating job opportunities and strengthening our presence globally”, says Toni Petersson, CEO at Oatly
Frédéric de Mévius, Chairman of the Board of Verlinvest, said: “We have been very impressed by what the team at Oatly has achieved so far in building the Swedish market leader and we are excited to join them, alongside the existing shareholders, to bring the brand, an icon of Swedish health and sustainability, to a global audience”
Kerry Zhang, Deputy General Manager of China Resources Holdings Strategy Department commented: “Oatly has built a differentiated lifestyle brand with an ethical approach which we believe will strongly appeal to the Chinese consumer. The business has developed world class R&D expertise and production facilities in its Landskrona site. We will invest further to ensure that Oatly remains at the leading-edge of oat research, and continues to develop new innovative products for many years to come.”
Founded in 1990, based on Swedish research from Lund University, Oatly is Sweden’s leading dairy-free brand, with a broad range of healthy and sustainable oat-based products. The company’s patented enzyme technology copies nature’s own process and turns fiber-rich oats into nutritional liquid food that is perfectly designed for humans.
Based in the south of Sweden with headquarters in Malmö and a production & development center in Landskrona, Oatly currently employs about 120 people and its products are available in more than 20 countries throughout Europe and Asia.
ABOUT CHINA RESOURCES-VERLINVEST JOINT VENTURE
The China Resources-Verlinvest Joint Venture was established in 2016 to invest in mid-sized, high-growth businesses in the healthy branded Food & Beverage and Senior Care sectors. The Joint Venture marries Verlinvest’s deep consumer expertise in growing international F&B brands with China Resources’ broad distribution capability to bring innovative and high potential brands to a global audience.
Verlinvest is a Belgian, family-owned investment company focused on international high-growth consumer businesses, with offices in Brussels, New York and Singapore. Verlinvest’s mission is to empower business leaders over the long term with a ‘hands-with’ approach to build global consumer brands across distribution channels and geographies.
China Resources is a holding company with a diverse range of business interests, including over 4,700 food retail outlets and coffee shops in 280 cities across China, under brands including Vanguard, Tesco Vanguard, Olé and Pacific Coffee.