Chobani Takes Another Step Toward IPO

Nov. 18, 2021
More paperwork filed for $100 million initial public offering of stock.

Chobani, which can no longer be called simply a maker of Greek yogurt, on Nov. 17 disclosed it has filed additional paperwork for an initial public offering of stock (IPO). In the process, it revealed a 5.2% increase in sales in 2020 (to $1.4 billion) but a tripling of its losses last year to $58.7 million, as it invested back into its business, according to CNBC.

According to financial reporting about the filing, Chobani's sales rose another 13% in the first nine months of this year, but its losses also widened slightly, to $24 million on net sales of $1.2 billion.

This filing is another step in a process we reported on in July, when the company filed a confidential draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Bloomberg News today reported the size of the offering at $100 million, "a placeholder that will change when it sets terms for the share sale." No word on when the next step in the SEC process will be taken.

That represents a small chunk of the company. Reuters News reported in July that an IPO could value the company at about $10 billion. But as we've reported in the past, founder and chairman Hamdi Ulukaya in 2016 gave about 10 percent of the company to its then-2,000 or so full-time employees. There also have been reports of equity-backed loans, especially when it built the world's biggest yogurt factory in Twin Falls, Idaho, in 2012. Plus Ulukaya remains the majority owner of the firm.

The company expects to list on the Nasdaq market under the ticker symbol "CHO."

Chobani, which means shepherd in Turkish, now makes yogurt, oatmilk, and dairy- and plant-based creamers and probiotic beverages. It was founded in 2005 by Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant to the United States who bought an old Kraft yogurt plant after taking a Small Business Administration loan. The first cup of Chobani Greek yogurt hit store shelves in 2007.

Chobani was Food Processing's 2012 Processor of the Year.

The company, which also has factories in upstate New York and Australia, reportedly rejected a bid for a majority stake from beverage giant PepsiCo Inc in 2016.

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