Beyond Meat raises the price range for its IPO

Plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat increased the expected price range and size of its initial public offering, ahead of an expected market debut on Thursday, indicating strong investor demand.

The company said it expects to offer 9.63 million shares, up from 8.75 million shares and the IPO to be priced between $23 and $25 per share, up from $19 and $21 per share, its latest filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

The higher end of the indicative price range gives the company a market value of $1.49 billion, up from $1.21 billion earlier.

Plant-based meat substitutes have been gaining popularity as more attention is focused on the environmental hazards of industrial ranching.

The Los Angeles-based company in early January announced it was rolling out its plant-based burger at fast-food chain Carl’s Jr.

Investors in Beyond Meat include actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates.

Tyson Foods Inc, the no. 1 U.S. meat processor, owned a 6.5 percent stake in BeyondMeat, but last week said it sold its investment in the vegan burger maker, as it looks to develop its own line of alternative protein products.

Beyond Meat’s net loss narrowed marginally to $29.89 million in the year ended Dec. 31, from $30.38 million a year earlier. Net revenue more than doubled to $87.93 million in the same period.

The company expects to start trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol “BYND”.

Goldman Sachs, J.P.Morgan, Credit Suisse are the lead underwriters to the IPO.

(Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel and Shounak Dasgupta)

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