The Greek yogurt producer –which has recently expanded its portfolio to include a range of products from ready-to-drink coffee to oatmilk, probiotic beverages and coconut yogurt alternatives – has been publicly considering an IPO for several months, with CEO Hamdi Ulukaya telling FoodNavigator-USA and other reporters in February 2021:
“As we create the food company of the future, we’ll look at all options carefully to fuel our ambitious plans, especially with oatmilk and plant-based products. An IPO is definitely one exciting direction but whether or not we’re public, we’ll keep disrupting and making things better.”
Known as the pioneer of the US Greek yogurt market credited with popularizing the thicker tangier style of yogurt, Chobani surpassed $1bn in sales in 2018 and saw a significant rise in its core yogurt sales last year.
In 2016, Ulukaya gave 2,000 full-time employees potential shares in the company in the event it were to go public. At the time, Ulukaya said he would transfer up to 10% of shares in the event the company were sold or went public, which – based on the company’s valuation at the time – meant employees could take home an average of $150,000, and those at the company with longer tenures potentially receiving over $1m.
In the confidential registration for the IPO – which Chobani referenced in a press release this morning – it said that the number of shares of common stock to be sold and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. However, the Wall Street Journal reported in February that the company was targeting a valuation between $7bn and $10bn, according to people familiar with the matter.
Chobani said it expects to commence the public offering following completion of the SEC review process, subject to market and other conditions.