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April 26, 2014

Chobani raises equity of $750 million for growth

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The Daily Star

---- — Chobani, yogurt maker with headquarters in New Berlin, has secured a $750 million investment from TPG Capital, a global private investment firm, and TPG Opportunities Partners, its dedicated credit platform, according to a media release Wednesday.

The investment will help fund growth, expansion and innovation at Chobani, the release from the local firm said.

“TPG’s commitment represents a belief in our vision and further validates the strength of our brand and business,” Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani founder, said in the release. “We’re excited to embark on this next phase with TPG.”

As part of the transaction, TPG will have representation on the company’s board of directors, and Ulukaya will serve as chairman.

As the leader in the Greek yogurt market, Chobani’s 2013 revenues exceeded $1 billion, the company’s release said. Chobani recently announced plans to increase its product line and expand sales into Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Hamdi and the team at Chobani have in seven years turned the vision of bringing a quality, nutritious Greek yogurt to America into a highly successful business,” said Jim Coulter, co-founder, TPG. “We look forward to Chobani’s future growth and expansion of the brand by bringing the skills we have developed in helping build companies like J. Crew and Neiman Marcus.”

RETAILER AT ONEONTA MALL READIES TO OPEN IN LARGER SPACE

At Southside Mall in Oneonta, a space is under renovation to open as a larger rue21 clothing store with a newly introduced rueGuy section, which will offer an expanded men’s department.

The store is operating in a temporary location, but the retailer reports that it will reopen in its new space in May, Luisa Montanti, general mall manager said this week.

According to a rue21 media release 2013 was a pivotal year for the company as it opened its 1,000th store, launched a website, introduced the rueGuy concept and transitioned from a publicly held to a privately owned company.

According to the company website, “rue” comes from the French word for “street” and “21” refers to “the age that everyone wants to be.” The store offers fashion for teens and young adults. The company is headquartered near Pittsburgh.

In openings at the mall on state Route 23, Evolution E-cig sells merchandise as alternatives to tobacco smoking, and Creative Imaging Photography offers portraits with backgrounds ranging from fairy tale to vampire story settings. And Rainbow’s End Weddings and More has opened Prism Prom, a store filled with racks of colorful gowns. The store also offers tuxedo rentals and will be open through prom season. The Rainbow’s End website said prom gowns no longer are available at the bridal shop at 3200 Chestnut St. in Oneonta’s West End.

GOLF, SWIMMING, TENNIS, ANYONE?

The Oneonta Country Club recently reached an agreement with the Oneonta Tennis Club as part of a marketing strategy to attract families, a club official said.

From May 1 through Labor Day, Oneonta Country Club members will be eligible for tennis and pool privileges at the Oneonta Tennis Club, 32 Rose Ave., said Steve Hiscox, membership and marketing director for the golf club.

All 18 holes on the golf course are open, the club’s website said.

Also, to attract families, Oneonta Country Club, 9 Country Club Drive, this year is offering free golf for members’ children aged 18 and younger, Hiscox said. Membership benefits are being expanded because the Country Club has fewer than 20 members younger than 45, he said.

The Country Club offers a variety of packages for single, couple and family memberships with some introductory rates. Information is available on the club’s website at www.oneontacountryclub.org or by calling 432-9074.

FABULOUS FRIDAYS SET FOR ONEONTA

Fabulous Fridays will start for the 2014 season Friday.

The promotional activity in downtown Oneonta will be offered twice a month through the first Friday in October, Julia Goff, MSO program director, said. Art exhibits, entertainment and activities are among offerings, and hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Fridays, May 2 and 16.

Goff said new this year is a sponsorship by Northern Eagle Beverage, which will present tasting events on select dates.

The Greater Oneonta Historical Society will participate in Fabulous Fridays, as it has since the event started in 2010, said Bob Brzozowski, executive director of the historical group and Common Council member for the Seventh Ward.

To suggest a business story, announce a new business or changes to an existing one, email details to drichardson@thedailystar.com or call Denise Richardson at 432-1000 or (800) 721-1000, ext. 213.