Coca-Cola, PepsiCo Spar Over Chobani Stake

AFP  |  Updated: July 13, 2017 15:06 IST

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo Spar Over Chobani Stake

US soda giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are among the companies competing for a minority stake in Greek yogurt maker Chobani, a person familiar with the process said.

Chobani has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to oversee the sale of 10-20 percent of the company's shares. The yogurt maker is seeking a strategic partner in part to help develop its international business, the person said. The deal could value Chobani at more than $3 billion, the person said. It could involve the new investor buying investment fund TPG's 20 percent stake in the yogurt maker, which TPG bought in 2014 for $750 million.

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Based in New Berlin in northern New York state, Chobani has grown rapidly since its founding in 2007 by Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya. Ulukaya is credited with introducing mass-scale production of Greek-style yogurt into the US market. Chobani now holds 44 percent of the $8 billion Greek yogurt market, according to Sanford Bernstein.

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Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have been searching for new growth opportunities due to the declining popularity of soda drinks as consumers become more health-conscious. Some analysts have spoken of a "secular" decline of conventional soda, pushing Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to rely on sales of bottled water and flavored waters and on their snack lines.

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