The move includes the exchange of Keurig Dr Pepper’s minority stake in La Colombe into Chobani equity. Keurig Dr Pepper acquired a 33% stake in the specialty coffee roaster for $300m in July 2023
A La Colombe coffee shop in Lower Manhattan, New York| Photo credit: Kyle Peyton
New York-based dairy giant Chobani has acquired specialty coffee roaster and café chain La Colombe Coffee Roasters for $900m.
Founded in 2005 by Turkish businessman Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani produces yogurt, oatmilk, and dairy and non-dairy creamers. Ulukaya became the majority owner of La Colombe Coffee Roasters in 2015 with an investment of $60m.
Chobani financed the acquisition through the combination of a newly issued $550m term loan, $44m of cash on hand and the exchange of Keurig Dr Pepper’s (KDP) minority stake into Chobani equity.
KDP took a 33% stake in La Colombe for $300m in July 2023. The coffee and soft beverage group will continue to distribute La Colombe’s ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee products across its direct store distribution network, as well as license, manufacture and distribute La Colombe branded K-Cup coffee pods in North America.
Pennsylvania-based La Colombe currently operates 32 coffee shops across seven US states. Chobani said the specialty coffee roaster and café chain will continue to operate as an independent brand with the same management team to preserve its ‘unique identity’.
Additionally, Chobani said La Colombe will benefit from its extensive retail networks, marketing and cold chain distribution capabilities, with the acquisition also expected to deliver ‘meaningful cost synergies’.
“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,” said Ulukaya.
Chobani, which operates a branded café in New York, filed to go public in July 2021 seeking a valuation of more than $10bn but withdrew its plans in September 2022 due to difficult market conditions.
The business launched its first range of oatmilks in 2019 and introduced coffee creamers to its portfolio the following year. In December 2021 Tim Hortons began serving Chobani oat drinks across its Canadian store network.
In the same year, Chobani trialled an own-brand range of RTD coffee products, Chobani Coffee, which were released in four flavours – Cold Brew Pure Black, Cold Brew with Sweet Creamer, Cold Brew with Vanilla and Cold Brew with Oatmilk – however, the range has since been discontinued.