Greek yogurt maker Chobani announced that it has acquired La Colombe for $900 million. Though Chobani has forayed into the coffee segment previously with its creamers, the acquisition of La Colombe puts its firmly in that space. La Colombe is the only ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee company, serving consumers across multiple channels, including retail, cafes, foodservice, and direct-to-consumer.
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. KDP recently invested $300 million in La Colombe. KDP will continue to serve as a distribution partner, expanding availability of La Colombe through its direct-store-delivery (DSD) network and with premium K-Cup pods already on the market.
As part of Chobani, La Colombe will continue to operate as an independent brand. This approach will allow for the two companies to collaborate and share knowledge while also preserving La Colombe’s identity and innovation.
La Colombe, founded in 1994 by Todd Carmichael and JP Iberti, got its start in a third-floor walk-up in Philadelphia. They were aiming to create the perfect espresso coffee in a country where espressos were new. Now a growing player in the fast-growing $5 billion U.S. RTD coffee category, La Colombe will prove complementary to Chobani’s core yogurt portfolio and modern foods innovations, including oat milk and creamer. As consumers’ preference for cold coffee has grown, so has La Colombe, its RTD line more than tripling in the past five years.
The acquisition positions La Colombe well to benefit from Chobani’s expertise in retail execution, marketing, and cold chain capabilities. Through the recently announced sales and distribution agreement with KDP, La Colombe will also expand the reach of its single-serve product line and have access to grow underdeveloped channels such as convenience retail.
Chobani also plans to enhance La Colombe’s procurement practices, deliver meaningful cost synergies, and elevate its overall operational performance.