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Speculation on Just IPO

11/19/2019

At approximately six-month intervals, Josh Tetrick receives adulatory publicity for his business acumen and concern for the environment. Just, the most recent iteration of the enterprises he operates was accorded the usual treatment by less than conscientious journalists with regard to an IPO. Tetrick is on record as intending to replace the entire complement of U.S. laying hens by substituting his brand of egg substitute.

 

It would appear that he and Just are riding on the somewhat tattered coattails of Beyond Meat.  Opponents of intensive livestock production and the financially naïve are speculating on an IPO although Tetrick has indicated “no timeline but at some point we will do it”.  Given concern over the rapid rise and then fall in share price of Beyond Meat, negative profitability and impending competition, Just would have great difficulty in obtaining a listing. Basically Just markets an ersatz mayonnaise, cookie dough and now a scrambled egg substitute based on mung beans.

 

It would appear that Tetrick has initiated a presence in China for his company where even a fraction of a vast market can accrue large sales.  Investors in the U.S. have become weary of the grandiose promises by Tetrick over the years and are obviously concerned over allegations of unethical marketing practices, defective corporate governance and churn in directors and managers over the years associated with Hampton Creek and other entities under his management.

 

Approximately two years ago, when cell-cultured meat was in vogue Tetrick announced that his company would market a product within a year.  This was obviously nonsense at the time given the lack of technical resources available to his company and that fact that label regulations and standards for cell-cultured meat will not be finalized before 2021.  In any event there is no indication that any of the current companies involved in the development of cell-cultured meat in the U.S., Holland and Israel can achieve a competitive price to conventional meat in the foreseeable future without a radical breakthrough in technology or advantage from scale of operation.

 

Journalists entering his orbit would be well advised to carefully investigate the claims made by Tetrick, consider the history of his numerous companies and evaluate market realities in promoting his image and businesses.  Moving the focus of his company to China without having achieved market penetration in the U.S. and with claims to sell product in India and the EU are probably expressions of desperation. Relocating to a new continent is an attempt to generate financial support from the uninitiated.  An IPO would be an unacceptable strategy for Tetrick and his company since this would involve preparation of a prospectus and would engender critical evaluation of his track record and prospects.

 

As with previous postings Josh Tetrick is welcome to respond to this commentary but with substantiation of claims, presentation of realistic business plans and technical data.