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Oprah, Jay-Z cash in as Oatly surges in Wall Street debut

Shares of Oprah Winfrey-backed Oatly Group AB jumped as much as 30 per cent in their market debut on Thursday (US time), valuing the Swedish oat milk maker at about $US13 billion ($16.7 billion), as demand for plant-based food products surges globally.

Oatly’s strong debut, along with that of construction software firm Procore Technologies, is expected to restore short-term confidence in US initial public offerings. That market has been rocked by recent inflation fears that forced investors to abandon growth stocks.

Shares of Sweden-based Oatly, whose investors also include rapper Jay Z and former Starbucks Corp head Howard Schultz, opened at $US22 a share.

The vegan milk maker, which has been widely credited for popularising oat milk in several countries, on Wednesday went public at $US17 a share, raising $US1.4 billion. They closed almost 19 per cent higher at $US20.20.

Oatly, which sells in more than 20 markets across Europe, the United States and China, is known chiefly for its oat milk products and has tie-ups with several US cafes, including Starbucks. Oatly is so popular in some key markets that it has faced supply shortages.

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