CANADA – Chobani, maker of America’s leading Greek Yogurt brand and the second largest overall yogurt manufacturer in the U.S., has announced that it has secured a minority investment from the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), one of the largest defined benefit pension plans in Canada.
HOOPP Capital Partners, the defined benefit plan’s private capital investment team, has acquired a minority equity investment in Chobani, which will help support the Company as it continues to lead innovation in the yogurt category and invests in its business.
The company said that as a result of the transaction, TPG, a global alternative investment firm, has exited its investment in the Company.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though HOOPP will be given one board seat as part of its investment.
“In HOOPP, we’ve found a partner that sees the world the way we do,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani.
“This is a minority investment but most importantly it’s a symbiotic partnership. We have the same DNA.
I’ve loved getting to know Jim and the entire HOOPP team in recent months, sharing ideas about how business makes a difference for their people, their communities and their investors.
On a personal level, I love that heroes like healthcare workers are now part of our family and our story.”
The investment was facilitated through the Company’s discussions with a number of selected investors to buy back warrants from TPG by issuing equity to HOOPP.
The investment from HOOPP will give Ulukaya increased operational flexibility and governance to support Chobani’s focus on nutritional and social wellness.
The structure of the new investment will also provide Ulukaya and its employees an opportunity to increase their equity position by as much as 10%, bringing the total equity controlled by them to as much as 90%.
Jim Walker, Managing Partner at HOOPP Capital Partners, added: “Chobani is truly one of those unique companies and investment opportunities that seems to defy all odds: coming out of nowhere, lifting up its communities and driving exceptional long-term value and performance.
We were drawn to its success and compelled by Hamdi’s and his incredibly strong teams’ vision for the future.
We think its best days are yet to come, both in the US and beyond, and we’re thrilled to join them in their next phase of growth.”
According to Chobani, TD Securities (USA) LLC and Centerview Partners LLC served as financial advisors and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLC served as legal advisor to Chobani in this transaction.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP served as legal advisor to HOOPP Capital Partners.