Greek yogurt maker Chobani is exploring opportunities to work with investors, according to several news reports.
Among the options being explored would be selling a minority stake in the company — an option that a local financial adviser said would be a natural step in the growth of a company. This would allow the New Berlin-based yogurt maker to secure additional funds for expansion while allowing the owners to take out some money.
Reports published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and elsewhere indicated that the company is working with the Bank of America as it negotiates with six potential investors for a deal that could value Chobani at $5 billion.
The company previously held discussions with banks about pursuing an initial public offering, but switched gears in the face of mounting competition from other Greek yogurt companies, the reports said.
The local adviser, who spoke on background, said that in an IPO the company owners would have to agree to sell their equity at a price that would not be finalized until the stock went public. The type of private equity discussed in the report would be set in a contract before the deal was completed.
A spokesman for Chobani did not return a call for comment on Tuesday.
Editors' note: This story was revised at 9:20 am.. March 12 to reflect more recent information.