Tyson Sells Beyond Meat Shares to Develop Its Own Vegan Products
This month, Tyson Ventures—the investment arm of meat company Tyson Foods—sold its shares in vegan brand Beyond Meat. Tyson Ventures invested a total of $23 million in Beyond Meat, making its first investment in 2016 in exchange for five percent of the vegan company, with an increase in its holdings to 6.5 percent the following year. The sale of Tyson’s shares comes as Beyond Meat readies to become the first publicly traded vegan meat company. While Tyson did not disclose the amount for which it sold its shares, based on Beyond Meat’s potential valuation of $1.2 billion, Tyson’s shares would have been worth approximately $79 million. “Tyson Ventures is pleased with the investment in Beyond Meat and has decided the time is right to exit,” Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman told Reuters. “[Tyson] plans to launch an alternative protein product soon with market testing anticipated this summer.” During a shareholder meeting in February, Tyson CEO Noel White teased its upcoming plant-based meat line, stating that the company plans to “do it in a significant way.” Beyond Meat aims to price its shares between $19 and $21 and will hit NASDAQ under the ticker “BYND” as early as the first week of May.