New York, NY, United States (NewsBahn) – The Nasdaq is adding fake meat to its diet.
Beyond Meat, the purveyor of plant-based burgers and sausages, made its debut on the stock exchange Thursday. It’s the first pure-play maker of vegan “meat” to go public, according to Renaissance Capital, which researches and tracks IPOs.
Beyond Meat raised about $240 million selling 9.6 million shares at $25 each. That values the company at about $1.5 billion.
The 10-year-old company has attracted celebrity investors like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and actor Leonardo DiCaprio and buzz for placing its products in burger joints like Carl’s Jr. It sells to 30,000 grocery stores, restaurants and schools in the U.S., Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and Israel.
Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said the IPO timing is right because the company wants to expand overseas. He also wants consumers to be able to buy shares since they have fueled the company’s growth.
“It really is a wonderful feeling to be able to welcome people in who have helped this brand,” Brown told The Associated Press.
Still, Beyond Meat has never made an annual profit; it lost $30 million last year. It’s also facing serious competition from other “new meat” companies like Impossible Foods and traditional players like Tyson Foods Inc. Tyson recently sold a stake in Beyond Meat because it plans to develop its own alternative meat.
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