Vet IPO shrugs off animal-free trend

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A cow opens its mouth during feeding at the Johann Dairy farm in Fresno, California, U.S. September 10, 2020. Picture taken September 10, 2020.

LONDON, June 14 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Investors are being offered a hedge against plant-based diets. Livestock health company Huvepharma, which makes health and nutrition additives for cows, pigs and other animals, announced on Monday it will list in Amsterdam. A growing global population means the world livestock market is expected to expand by 5% a year to 2024, according to data group Vetnosis.

Huvepharma’s enzymes, food additives and vaccines produced EBITDA of 167 million euros in 2020 on sales of 588 million euros. If valued in line with London-listed Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH.L), which trades at 28 times trailing EBITDA, according to Refinitiv, Huvepharma’s enterprise value would be around 4.5 billion euros.

The offering will test the appetite of investors who have pushed up the valuations of plant-based food brands like newly-listed Oatly (OTLY.O) read more . Though more people are embracing vegan and vegetarian diets, Huvepharma reckons the impact on demand for food animal products will be limited. Shareholders have a choice. (By Dasha Afanasieva)

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