PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. are in talks to invest in Chobani LLC. If the deal is finalized it would value the Greek yogurt maker at as much as $3 billion, including debt.
Traditional soft drink makers such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola have been working hard to diversify their portfolio’s as carbonated beverages continue to lose market share to healthier alternatives.
Chobani is considering a sale of a minority state, including warranted owned by private equity firm TPG Capital LP that account for between 10% and 20% of the yogurt maker’s equity depending on its financial performance.
The company wants to expand its supply chain, distribution, manufacturing base and geographic footprint for its popular yogurts like Flip, which combine yogurt with flavors such as peanut butter and coffee.
At this time insiders say there is no guarantee that Pepsi or Coca-Cola will reach a deal with Chobani.
Chobani was founded in 2005 by Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya, its majority owner and chief executive.
In 2012 Pepsi started selling yogurt through a joint venture with German dairy company Theo Müller. This year, Coca-Cola began national distribution of a milk product called FairLife, which also exists in the dairy space.