US top yogurt maker Chobani mulls selling minority stake

Chobani, the biggest yogurt maker in the US, is planning to sell a minority stake in a deal that could value the company founded by Turkish immigrant at around $2.5 billion, Reuters yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

ChobaniThe New York-based company, which recently denied media reports of looking at an IPO, has hired Bank of America to help in selling around 20 per cent, and is in talks with consumer companies and private equity firms to gauge their interest, the report said.

Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya founded Chobani in 2005, but his brand became a sensation in the US after he bought a yogurt plant in South Edmeston, New York, that was put for sale by Kraft Foods.

Chobani makes Greek-type strained yogurt known as "Turkish" yogurt outside the US, and is the top-selling brand of yogurt in the country.

Chobani expanded in 2012 by opening one of the world's largest yogurt-processing plants in Idaho. The one million square-foot facility cost $450 million and employs 300 people.

The company, which competes with brands from Danone SA and General Mills, holds around 19 per cent share of the $7.4 billion US yogurt market, and has revenues of $1 billion.