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Natural Order Acquisition Corp., a new blank check company targeting plant-based foods, has raised US$230 million in its initial public offering, including the full exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option. The company intends to use the capital to fund a business combination of companies working on plant-based foods and other sustainable alternatives to animal-based products.
Closing on Friday (November 13), Natural Order has raised US$230 million in its IPO, listing on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol NOACU on November 11, priced at US$10 per unit. Natural Order is a blank check company formed this year for the purpose of acquiring one or more businesses that are focused on technologies and products in the plant-based F&B and alternative protein segments. Chardan and Barclays acted as joint book running managers in the offering.
Natural Order Acquisition is led by chairman Sebastiano Castiglioni, who is a partner at plant-based VC Blue Horizon Group and the director of sustainable investment firm Dismatrix. Paresh Patel, who leads Sandstone Investments will act as the CEO and director, while former financial head of fintech asset management firm Quantopian Marc Volpe will serve as CFO.
While the US$230 million raise, which includes the full exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option, tops the company’s initial pricing of US$200 million on November 11, it falls short of its original plan to raise US$250 million to top Beyond Meat’s milestone US$240 million IPO before it decreased its deal size last week.
Nevertheless, Natural Order’s US$230 million IPO is still an impressive feat that represents yet another signal of the strength of the plant-based movement and is indicative of investors’ bullish predictions for the industry.
Since the coronavirus pandemic struck, exposing the vulnerabilities of the animal-dependent food value chain, the category has proved resilient to economic shocks, with more than US$930 million in funding pouring into the alternative protein industry within the first quarter of this year alone. Since Beyond Meat’s record-breaking IPO, two more vegan companies have gone public in Canada.
Eat Just, the company behind the famous plant-based JUST Egg, has also hinted at launching an IPO once it reaches profitability, a target that the firm aims to reach by the end of 2021. In an interview, the Eat Just’s co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick revealed that “eventually going public made the most sense,” and added that this goal has never been “clearer”.
Lead image courtesy of Oumph!.