Chobani LLC, New Berlin, N.Y., a next generation food and beverage company originally known for its high-quality Greek yogurt, announced that it has acquired La Colombe for $900 million. Chobani financed the acquisition through the combination of a newly issued $550 million term loan, cash on hand and the exchange of Keurig Dr Pepper’s (KDP) minority equity stake in La Colombe into Chobani equity.
La Colombe currently serves consumers across multiple channels, including retail, cafes, foodservice, and direct-to-consumer. The brand owns its supply chain from conscious bean sourcing and premium roasting to the creation of exceptional product experiences for loyal customers.
“At a time where the industry has faced challenges to grow sales, Chobani has delivered double-digit, volume-led sales growth, and considerable margin expansion. We have never been stronger or better positioned to chart our next chapter of growth,” stated Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya in a statement. “We’ve already made an investment in the coffee category with our creamers and are excited about bringing La Colombe into the Chobani family, and offering the delicious, high-quality cold brew and ready-to-drink craftmanship of La Colombe to a next generation of consumers, powered by a strong distribution partner in KDP.”
KDP Chairman and CEO Bob Gamgort added: “La Colombe is a unique brand and well positioned to continue its strong growth trajectory, including upside as its ready-to-drink line expands availability through our company-owned DSD network and with premium K-Cup pods now in the market. Both as a strategic partner and a minority shareholder, we are excited by the path ahead.”
As part of Chobani, La Colombe will continue to operate as an independent brand. This approach allows for collaboration and knowledge sharing between the two companies while preserving the unique identity and innovation that La Colombe is known for, it states.
La Colombe is a growing player in the fast-growing $5 billion U.S. ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee category. La Colombe’s RTD line has grown more than three times in the past five years and is positioned for accelerated growth, the company notes. Under Chobani ownership, La Colombe will not only benefit from the company’s extensive retail execution, marketing and cold chain capabilities to grow its multi-serve offering, but through its recently announced sales and distribution agreement with KDP, La Colombe also will meaningfully expand the reach of its single-serve product line and have access to grow underdeveloped channels like convenience retail, it adds.
Chobani also plans enhance La Colombe’s procurement practices, deliver meaningful cost synergies, and elevate its overall operational performance. In addition, given cultural alignment and shared values, La Colombe will play a key role in the company’s ongoing journey to doing good and making the world a healthier place, it says.