Chobani drops IPO plans, for now: ‘Given the current market conditions, we have decided to withdraw’

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Chobani recently re-hired Kevin Burns – who served as its president and COO between 2014 and 2016 – as president and COO following the departure of Peter McGuinness in April. Hamdi Ulukaya (left) and Kevin Burns (right). Image credit: Chobani
Chobani recently re-hired Kevin Burns – who served as its president and COO between 2014 and 2016 – as president and COO following the departure of Peter McGuinness in April. Hamdi Ulukaya (left) and Kevin Burns (right). Image credit: Chobani

Related tags: Chobani, Greek yogurt, Yogurt, oatmilk, Probiotics, IPO

Chobani has withdrawn its IPO proposal 14 months after filing a draft registration statement with the SEC, citing current market conditions.

The firm did not offer any explanation in the filing (click here​), but sent reporters a statement noting that, “Given the current market conditions, we have decided to withdraw our S-1 registration statement currently filed with the SEC. Our focus remains on strong execution and driving profitable growth, and we continue to be excited about the future of Chobani.”

The move is not a huge surprise given the turmoil in the stock market and the lack of investor appetite for new stocks, said Neil Saunders at GlobalData, who described Chobani’s decision as “sensible, as pushing an IPO through at this time would likely undervalue the company.

"With no respite from the bear market on the horizon, it has likely concluded that ending the process entirely is the best course of action for the time being."

Dollar sales +13.5%, net loss $24m in nine months ended Sept 25, 2021

Chobani - which re-hired Kevin Burns as president and COO in April​ following the departure of Peter McGuinness (Burns held the same title between 2014-2016) - is still best known for its yogurt, but has expanded into several new categories in recent years including ready-to-drink coffee, oatmilk, fermented probiotic beverages and dairy creamers.

The company - which is currently searching for a new chief financial officer following Jody Macedonio’s move to Meati Foods - has not made any public comments about the performance of these new lines since McGuinness’ departure, but confirmed in April that it had discontinued its ultra-filtered milk line​ just three months after launch, explaining that, “We have come to the tough conclusion that it does not make sense for Chobani to be in the Dairy Milk business at this time.”

According to IRI data crunched by 201 Analytics, US retail sales of yogurts were up +12% (dollar sales) in July 2022 vs July 2021, reflecting inflationary pressures, while units slumped -6.6% (IRI: Total US food, club, dollar, mass, military stores, excluding convenience stores).

Chobani has not shared any performance updates recently, but according to its November 2021 prospectus​, it posted a net loss of $24m on net sales up +13.8% to $1.21bn for the nine months ended September 25, 2021.

Of this, 86% ($1.0452bn) of net sales were generated from yogurt, while 14% ($167.8m) came from other products such as oat milk, said Chobani.

In yogurt, oat milk, and creamer, we were able to move quickly and overtake long-time incumbent producers in a matter of a year or even months, providing powerful validation of our aggressive go-to-market innovation model.”

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