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Chobani secures $750m investment to fund expansion, innovation plans

By Elaine WATSON , 24-Apr-2014
Last updated on 24-Apr-2014 at 01:34 GMT

Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya: Money provides 'additional resources to build on our momentum, fund our exciting new innovations and reach new people'
Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya: Money provides 'additional resources to build on our momentum, fund our exciting new innovations and reach new people'

Greek yogurt maker Chobani has secured a $750m investment from private equity firm TPG Capital and its dedicated credit platform TPG Opportunities Partners to help fund its expansion and innovation plans.

Under the deal, TPG (formerly Texas Pacific Group) will get a seat on Chobani’s board; while founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya - who retains his majority stake in the business following this deal - will serve as chairman. 

Chobani - which has factories in New York, Idaho and Australia - is understood to have chosen TPG as a partner in part because of the expertise it will be able to provide should it seek to go public via an IPO (initial public offering), and in part because there was a good cultural fit. 

While the $750m is in the form of a loan, TPG is also receiving warrants that may allow it to obtain an equity stake in Chobani of less than 20% or up to 33%, FoodNavigator-USA understands. (For example, in the event of an IPO, the warrants could be converted into equity.)

Ulukaya said: “This investment gives us additional resources to build on our momentum, fund our exciting new innovations and reach new people. Most importantly, it positions us to further deliver on our vision to provide better food for more people."

TPG co-founder Jim Coulter added: "Hamdi and the team at Chobani have in seven years turned the vision of bringing a quality, nutritious Greek yogurt to America into a highly successful business. We look forward to Chobani's future growth and expansion of the brand by bringing the skills we have developed in helping build companies like J. Crew and Neiman Marcus."

Among other things, the money will be used to help fund Chobani's international expansion plans in Asia and Latin America (click HERE ), plus a series of new product launches that will start to hit shelves in the summer (click HERE ). 

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