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Chobani moves closer to IPO, and potential big payday for Idaho workers

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Stock traders might soon get a chance to snag shares in yogurt (and other product) maker Chobani, in a deal that could value the company at $10 billion.

We first told you about reports of the IPO in February. The company employs more than 1,000 Idahoans – primarily in the Twin Falls area.

Last week, Chobani filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Reuters. Founded in 2005 by Turkis immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya, the company saw a meteoric rise, changing the nature of the yogurt market in the US.

Ulukaya started the company with a shutdown Kraft Foods plant in rural New York. In 2012, after about a decade of growth, he expanded – bringing Chobani to Idaho. The company dropped $100-million on an expansion in 2016, added an innovation center and keeps growing in Idaho. The company became a major employer in the area – taking advantage of Idaho’s dairy industry and workforce.

Today, the Twin Falls plant is the world’s largest yogurt-making facility.

And the people who work there could see a significant payday – though it’s not yet known just how it might work.

As we reported in February, Ulukaya previously said he would give employees up to a ten percent stake in the company, which could be cashed out if the company goes public.

At the time of the announcement, the New York Times estimated the average employee would net $150,000 from such a payout – with some earning up to $1 million. However, the Times’ figures estimated a $3-billion valuation. At a $10-billion valuation, the shares could be worth much more.

Details on Chobani’s potential IPO should become available in coming weeks.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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