Chobani, the Greek yogurt maker, is giving its workers a stake in the privately held company.
The company is offering shares to employees that would amount collectively to 10 percent of Chobani’s future value in the event of a sale or an initial public offering, the Associated Press reported. The shares, which are going to around 2,000 full-time workers at the yogurt maker, will be distributed based on workers’ roles at the company, and their length of service, the AP said.
Chobani, based in the small town of New Berlin, New York, was founded by Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya in 2005.
Ulukaya told the New York Times his stock plan is designed to pass along the wealth the workers have helped build in the decade since the company was launched, which the Times said is “widely considered to be worth several billion dollars.”
“I’ve built something I never thought would be such a success, but I cannot think of Chobani being built without all these people,” Ulukaya told the newspaper. “Now they’ll be working to build the company even more and building their future at the same time,” he said.
Earlier this year, Chobani rejected offers from beverage giant PepsiCo to buy a stake in the company. The company had worked with Goldman Sachs to explore the sale after being approached by several parties in 2015. The decision to reject the offer was due in part to the terms, Chobani told Reuters.
The yogurt maker wanted to sell a minority stake while outside investors like PepsiCo were looking for a majority share. Chobani said independence remained a key asset to the company and the brand.
Data from Reuters were used to report this story.