MALMO, SWEDEN — Oatly Group AB is divesting some manufacturing assets in North America to Ya YA Foods, Etobicoke, Ontario, a contract manufacturer of aseptic food and beverage products. The move is part of Oatly’s shift to hybridizing its manufacturing strategy.
As part of the agreement, Oatly will continue to manufacture its oat base at its plants in Ogden, Utah, and Fort Worth, Texas. It will then be transferred to Ya YA Foods to be co-packed at the sites. Ya YA Foods will acquire a majority of the assets and assume the property lease at the Ogden plant, and the contracts manufacturer will assume responsibility for the completion of construction at the Fort Worth plant.
Oatly will receive approximately $72 million plus an additional credit amount toward future use of the shared assets at Ogden, and also will receive credit towards ongoing construction at the Fort Worth location. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.
“We believe an increased focus on our oat base technology, innovation, branding and commercial execution will better position Oatly to drive profitable growth, while reducing the capital intensity of our future facilities, and ultimately convert more consumers to plant-based and create more products that are healthy for people and the planet,” said Toni Petersson, Oatly’s chief executive officer.
Yahya Abbas, CEO of Ya YA Foods, added, “We look forward to working with Oatly and supporting their transition to a more asset-light model, allowing them to leverage our significant expertise in aseptic beverage packaging. We are pleased that Oatly recognizes our top-tier food safety track record and unique capabilities and has confidence in our ability to meet their high standards. We expect this transaction to enhance our growth and further strengthen our capabilities: the two properties we are acquiring will increase our geographic profile and scale, allowing us to serve the vast majority of the United States and Canada. This highly strategic partnership with Oatly is a key step towards achieving our goal of becoming the leading aseptic beverage co-manufacturer in North America.”