SK USA Inc. (New Orleans, La.) has agreed to purchase Smoothie King Franchises Inc. (Covington, La.). Co-founders Steve and Cindy Kuhnau, who have run Smoothie King for nearly 40 years, will sell a controlling interest to SK USA, headed by CEO Wan Kim, who opened the franchise’s first international location in Korea in 2003. "Smoothie King maintains potential for tremendous growth both here in the U.S. as well as in international markets,” said Wan. “We plan to open more than 1,000 new locations both in the United States and internationally by the end of 2017." As part of the purchase, Standard Charter Private Equity and National Pension Fund are making a “significant financial investment” in the brand. Smoothie King has more than 600 units operating in 32 States, the Caymans, and the Republic of Korea. It offers fresh blended smoothies, in addition to sports nutrition products, energy bars, healthy snacks, and supplements.
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