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Coca-Cola drops pursuit of Chobani -sources

October 15, 2015
Food & Drink

(Reuters) – Coca-Cola Co has ended talks to invest in Chobani LLC after deciding that the maker of Greek yogurt was not the best fit for its portfolio, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Coca-Cola was competing against PepsiCo Inc to invest in Chobani, a deal that Chobani hopes could value it at as much $3 billion, including debt, Reuters reported on Monday, citing sources.

To be sure, other companies have also expressed interest in Chobani. One of them has been organic foods producer WhiteWave Foods Co, the people said.

The source asked not to be identified because the matter is not public. Coca-Cola and Chobani declined to comment. WhiteWave did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chobani is exploring selling a minority stake, including warrants owned by private equity firm TPG Capital LP that account for between 10 percent and 20 percent of the yogurt maker’s equity depending on its financial performance, sources have previously said.

Chobani is looking for a strategic investor to help expand its supply chain, distribution, manufacturing base and geographic footprint for its popular yogurts like Flip, which combine yogurt with flavors such as peanut butter and coffee, the people added.

CNBC first reported earlier on Wednesday that Coca-Cola was no longer actively considering an investment in Chobani. (Reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York and Greg Roumeliotis; Editing by Christian Plumb)

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