Chobani has announced the acquisition of coffee company La Colombe for US$900 million (AUD$1.34 billion), marking its entry into the RTD coffee market.
The acquisition was financed through the combination of a newly issued US$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, and is the only ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee company that owns its supply chain, from conscious bean sourcing and premium roasting to the creation of products.
Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani, said the company has never been stronger or better positioned to chart its next chapter of growth.
“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.”
La Colombe is a growing player in the fast-growing US$5 billion coffee category, and its offering will prove highly complementary to Chobani’s core yogurt portfolio and modern foods innovations, including oat milk and creamer.
Under Chobani ownership, La Colombe will benefit from the company’s extensive retail execution, marketing, and cold chain capabilities to grow its multi-serve offering.
Chobani’s recently announced sales and distribution agreement with KDP, La Colombe will also meaningfully expand the reach of its single-serve product line and have access to grow underdeveloped channels like convenience retail.
Bob Gamgort, Chairman and CEO of KDP, said both as a strategic partner and a minority shareholder, they are excited by the path ahead.
“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.”
La Colombe will continue to operate as an independent brand, allowing for collaboration and knowledge sharing between the two companies while preserving the unique identity and innovation that La Colombe is known for.