Vegan burger maker sees share price more than double
Shares of vegan burger maker Beyond Meat Inc rose more than 160pc in their market debut last week, as investors look to cash in on the first publicly listed veggie meat company and the growing popularity of plant-based meat alternatives.
The stock opened at $46, well above its IPO price of $25. Shares surged minutes after starting to trade and were halted due to volatility. They traded up to $72 during the day, before closing at $65.75.
Beyond Meat, which has warned it may never turn a profit, closed with a market capitalisation of around $3.8 billion, based on shares outstanding including underwriters’ option.
Earlier in the week, the company raised the size and price of its offering after increased demand from investors. The IPO raised $240 million.
The money raised from the IPO gives Beyond Meat firepower to compete with other rivals in the increasingly crowded imitation meat market, such as Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods Inc.
Beyond Meat founder and Chief Executive Ethan Brown told Reuters on Thursday the proceeds would be used to expand marketing efforts, develop new products, establish production centres in Europe and Asia and open additional manufacturing facilities in the United States.
The Los Angeles-based company, which counts actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates among its investors, aims to market its meatless burger patties and other products to meat-loving consumers. It avoids terms such as vegan or vegetarian and instead displays its products in the meat case of supermarkets.
Plant-based substitutes for meat have been gaining popularity as more people shift towards vegan or vegetarian diets, amid growing concerns about health risks from eating meat, animal welfare and the environmental hazards of intensive animal farming.