Beyond Meat Inc., the maker of vegan chicken and beef substitutes backed by some of the biggest names in food and technology, is seeking to raise as much as $184 million in its initial public offering.
The company plans to sell 8.75 million shares for $19 to $21 each, according to a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A listing at the top of that range would give the company a market value of about $1.2 billion based on the shares to be outstanding after the offer, according to its filing.
The company is one of several makers of plant-based meat substitutes or lab-grown meats that have attracted high-profile backers. Its investors include Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and actor Leonardo Dicaprio, as well as former McDonald’s Corp. chief executive officer Don Thompson. Beyond Meat’s biggest stakeholders are venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC, which owns 16 percent of the company, and Twitter Inc. co-founder Ev William’s Obvious Ventures with 9 percent, according to its filings.
Tyson Foods Inc., the largest U.S. meat producer, is accelerating development of its own alternative-protein products and is also a backer of Beyond Meat. Tyson has invested in Jerusalem-based Future Meat Technologies and, along with Gates, Richard Branson and Cargill Inc., is an investor in Memphis Meats, a cultured meat producer.
Beyond Meat, founded in 2009 and initially focused on a frozen-chicken substitute, has taken advantage of vegan diet preferences to go more mainstream. Now, it’s best known for the Beyond Burger, which is made to “look, cook and taste like traditional ground beef,” according to its filings. Its products are sold by grocers such as Kroger and Whole Foods, as well as appearing on restaurant menus for TGI Friday’s and A&W Canada.
The El Segundo, California-based company’s latest filing shows its 2018 loss shrank, while its revenue more than doubled for the second year in a row. Last year, it lost $29.9 million on revenue of $87.9 million compared with a 2017 loss of $30.4 million on revenue of $32.6 million.