New Plant-Based Food Company Files For IPO To Raise US$250M & Top Beyond Meat Record

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Natural Order Acquisition Corp., a blank check company founded this year and focused on sustainable plant-based food products, has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise US$250 million in an initial public offering. The company’s aim is more ambitious than food tech Beyond Meat’s milestone of becoming one of the hottest IPOs in 2019, raising US$240 million

The Weston, Massachusetts-based company plans to raise US$250 million in an IPO by offering 25 million units at US$10, with each unit consisting one share of common stock and a whole warrant to buy one-half of a common share exercisable at US$11.50. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol NOACU. The proposed deal size will put the company’s market value at US$313 million. 

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. 

The new company filed confidentially with the SEC on September 15 with Chardan Capital Markets and Barclays as the joint bookrunners of the deal, and it plans to acquire businesses that are specialising in plant-based or animal-free protein alternatives and food and beverages. The date of the IPO has yet to be announced. 

It comes at a time when consumer interest and investment in the meat alternatives industry is hitting an all-time high. 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 last year that marked a watershed moment for the plant-based world, two more vegan companies have gone public, a true indicator of the fast-growing sector. 

In mid-June, The Very Good Food Company, the parent company of The Very Good Butchers, began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) under the symbol VERY, making them the second vegan company to be publicly traded. Another Canadian company, Modern Meat, a female plant-based meat startup, closely followed as the third, also listed on the CSE under the ticker MEAT. 

Other food techs have additionally indicated plans to go public in the future. Eat Just, the company behind the famous plant-based JUST Egg, recently alluded to 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 Unsplash.


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