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Tyson selling stake in Beyond Meat ahead of IPO

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Tyson plans to launch alternative protein product soon, with market testing anticipated this summer.

Tyson Ventures, a venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, confirmed to Feedstuffs that it is selling its 6.5% ownership stake in Beyond Meat Inc., a leading plant-based protein company, after investing $23 million between 2016 and 2017.

Beyond Meat announced April 22 the launch of its initial public offering (IPO) of 8.75 million shares of common stock. The IPO price is expected to be between $19.00 and $21.00 per share, before underwriting discounts and commissions.

According to a report, multiple sources told news outlet Axios that tensions had been rising between the two companies, especially after Tyson chief executive officer Noel White revealed earlier this year that Tyson is planning to develop its own plant-based protein products. No matter the reason, Tyson said it will continue to invest in the market space.

“Tyson Ventures is pleased with the investment in Beyond Meat and has decided the time is right to exit its investment,” the company said in a statement to Feedstuffs. “Beyond Meat provided an early opportunity for Tyson Ventures to invest in plant-based protein products that many consumers are seeking. We wish the leadership of Beyond Meat all the best.”

Tyson Foods said it continues to be committed to providing alternative protein as a choice for consumers and even recently announced the creation of a new business “focused on combining our creativity, scale and resources to make great-tasting protein alternatives more accessible for everyone.”

The company added, “We plan to launch an alternative protein product soon, with market testing anticipated this summer.”

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