Beyond Meat Details Plans for Initial Public Offering

SAN FRANCISCO — Beyond Meat revealed details on Monday for its planned Wall Street debut, in what will be a test for businesses that want to replace meat with plant-based alternatives.

The company said in a regulatory filing that it hoped to begin selling its stock at a price that would value the start-up at about $1.2 billion, slightly less than what it was worth in its most recent private investment round. The shares will be sold on the Nasdaq exchange.

Beyond Meat is smaller than most of the high-tech companies that have been going public this year, but it has one thing in common with many of them: It is losing money — $30 million last year. But revenue grew faster than losses, increasing 170 percent to $88 million.

The overall market for meat replacements in the United States grew around 22 percent last year, and 18 percent the year before, according to Euromonitor International.

The planned initial public offering of Beyond Meat, which is based in the Los Angeles area, comes at a time of high expectations for start-ups offering vegetarian replacements for animal products.

Burger King recently said it was introducing a meatless version of its Whopper sandwich, with a plant-based patty from Beyond Meat’s biggest competitor, Impossible Foods. And several grocery chains have begun selling a scrambled egg replacement from the start-up Just, which was previously called Hampton Creek.

Beyond Meat has its own string of corporate tie-ups. The fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. began serving the Beyond burger in more than 1,000 locations this year, and Del Taco recently said it would begin selling Beyond Tacos at all of its 580 restaurants.

The market for meat replacements has not been big enough in the past to support independent, public companies, and most of the largest names in the space, like Morningstar Farms and Gardein, have been acquired by large food conglomerates.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are hoping they can create products that will appeal to meat eaters, rather than just vegetarians and vegans.

Beyond Meat’s signature product, the burger patty, is made with pea protein and beet juice, which are supposed to give the burger the bloody look, texture and taste of beef.

Beyond Meat asks supermarkets to stock its product in the same refrigerators as traditional meat, and it is already available in around 15,000 stores, the company said. In its filing with regulators, the company said 93 percent of the customers who bought its products at Kroger supermarkets last year had also purchased animal meat.

In addition to the Beyond Burger, the company offers a replacement for pork sausage and ground beef.

The company has raised more than $150 million from an array of investors, including Kleiner Perkins, the actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and the venture capital arms of Tyson Foods and the Humane Society.

Beyond Meat said it hoped to sell 8.75 million shares at $19 to $21 a share and raise roughly the same amount of money as investors have put into the company so far.

The company said that even at the high end of its planned I.P.O. price, it would be valued at $1.2 billion. When Beyond Meat raised money last fall, it was valued at around $1.3 billion, according to Pitchbook.

The company is beginning to meet with potential investors this week and is aiming to begin selling its shares in early May.

Like other executives in the meat alternative industry, the chief executive of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown, has said he founded the company with the hope of reducing the environmental effects and animal suffering involved with the meat industry.

In a letter to investors, Mr. Brown said that in the 20th century, “livestock emerged as a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, with related burdens on land, energy, and water.”

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