Quorn’s parent company Monde Nissin has made its debut on the Philippine Stock Exchange, raising a total of ₱48.6 billion pesos (US$1.02 billion), marking the country’s biggest IPO. The proceeds will go towards fuelling the Manila-headquartered corporation’s plan to bring its meatless brand Quorn to more international markets and solidify its position in the plant-based protein space.
Monde Nissin raised more than US$1 billion in its IPO on Tuesday (June 1), and despite being lower than its initial US$1.3 billion target, still marked the country’s biggest-ever share sale by far. The company attracted several big-name investors, including British insurance firm Prudential’s Eastspring Investments, American private equity Capital Group and Singapore sovereign fund GIC.
The corporation says that the funds will help fuel its global expansion plans of the pioneer meatless brand Quorn, which it acquired in 2015 for £550 million (approx. US$768 million). Monde Nissin also owns soy-based brand Cauldron, whose products include tofu, veggie sausages and falafels.
Together, the two brands bring in about 22% of the firm’s total net sales of US$1.4 billion last year, according to Reuters. Of its plant-based sales, a large majority – 90% – is based in Europe, suggesting a business opportunity for Monde Nissin to bring its products to new markets.
The alternative meat category is going to explode, and we want to get our capacity ready as soon as possible.Henry Soesanto, CEO, Monde Nissin
It is eyeing the U.S. market, and will spend around US$335 million to grow its presence in the country, according to a report from Bloomberg. Funds will also be used to increase production of Quorn by building two new fermentation and packaging plants in Britain.
“The alternative meat category is going to explode, and we want to get our capacity ready as soon as possible. We need big money for that,” said Monde Nissin CEO Henry Soesanto, in conversation with Bloomberg.
Plant-based sales in the U.S. have been growing rapidly over the past year, topping US$7 billion for the first time in 2020. Most shoppers who bought meat alternatives for the first time during the pandemic say they plan on making it a long-term habit.
Quorn’s CEO Marco Bertacca says the brand’s goal is to “become the king of alternative chicken globally” and will continue to expand its range of plant-based chicken products, a category it hopes to gain an edge over plant-based startups like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods who have a firm footing in the beef alternatives space.
While Monde Nissin is famous domestically for its convenience processed foods brand portfolio, including Lucky Me instant noodles and SkyFlakes biscuits, the company’s alternative protein brands means investors see the company’s share sale as part of the growing plant-based IPO trend, with Swedish oat milk giant Oatly recently debuting on Nasdaq, joining pioneer Beyond Meat who went public in 2019.
Investors also took a similar line with Bangkok-based food corporation NR Instant Produce Pcl, who went public in October 2020 after reorienting its business to focus on plant-based foods. NR Instant Produce has increased its plant-based offerings with a private-label jackfruit pork product, and recently partnered with New York food tech Ocean Hugger Foods to bring the brand’s vegan seafood to global markets.
Outside of North America, Monde Nissin’s moves prior to the IPO indicate that it is also firm on growing Quorn’s presence within Asia. It has doubled down on the Singaporean market recently, launching home delivery with a new Quorn vegan and vegetarian dim sum line.
Quorn has also taken a stronger public line in positioning itself as a climate action firm, launching multiple campaigns such as rolling out carbon labels and kickstarting a complete nutritional review to promote healthy sustainable eating.
Lead image courtesy of Quorn.