Chobani said to have approached potential suitors

Chobani said to have approached potential suitors

Private-equity firm TPG Capital is in discussions with Chobani to buy a stake in the US yoghurt maker.

TPG is in "advanced talks" to become a shareholder in Chobani, The New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources.

Earlier this month, Chobani, which has been at the forefront of the growing Greek yoghurt category in the US, was reported to have approached private-equity firms and trade buyers to gauge whether there was interest in buying a minority stake in the business.

In its report last week, The New York Times said Chobani had been in talks with six potential investors. The company was mulling selling a maximum 15% stake for US$5bn, the newspaper said.

TPG, which The New York Times said was now the lead bidder, did not a return a request for comment when contacted by just-food. Officials at Chobani had also not returned a request for comment at the time of writing.

Greek yoghurt has been one of the most notable recent success stories in the US food sector, with the category driving the growth of the overall sector.

Chobani has faced growing competition from the likes of Danone and General Mills. In February, Danone CEO Franck Riboud claimed the French group had been able to gain ground on Chobani and was now "joint number one" in the sector.

As well as the US, Chobani has entered the UK and Australia. It has endured a rocky start to life in the UK, with a court battle over the use of the term 'Greek yoghurt' in the country.