March 27 Private equity firm TPG Capital LP is
in advanced talks to invest in Chobani LLC, a maker of Greek
yogurt, the New York Times reported on its website on Thursday,
citing two unidentified people briefed on the matter.
TPG is now "apparently" the lead bidder, the newspaper said,
adding that the structure of the potential investment has yet to
be finalized and that the talks might not lead to a deal.
Spokespeople for Chobani and TPG declined to comment.
Chobani has been looking to sell a minority stake in a deal
that could value the company at around $2.5 billion, Reuters
reported first earlier this month, citing people familiar with
the matter. The New York Times then reported,
citing its own sources, that Chobani was considering selling a
stake of 15 percent or less at a valuation of $5 billion.
Founded in 2005 by Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani
started operating from a former Kraft Food yogurt plant in South
Edmeston, New York, and grew into one of the top-selling Greek
yogurt brands in the United States.
The company suffered a blow in September after it was forced
to recall moldy cups of Greek yogurt following complaints by
customers that the product tasted runny and fizzy, and some
In December, Whole Foods Market Inc said it would no
longer sell Chobani yogurt starting early this year.
Greek-style yogurt, which is thicker, creamier and often
higher in protein than other types of yogurt, now makes up more
than 40 percent of the U.S. yogurt market, which is worth $7.4
billion according to research firm Mintel
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York. Editing by Andre