[Fox Business] Blackstone set to purchase Tropical Smoothie Cafe for nearly $2 billion

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New York City-based private equity firm Blackstone announced Wednesday that it was entering into an agreement to purchase Tropical Smoothie Cafe, for what has been reported to be a $2 billion deal.

In a press release, Blackstone said it entered into an agreement with Levine Leichtman Capital Partners to purchase Tropical Smoothie Cafe. It marks the first transaction from Blackstone’s private equity vehicle, the release read, and is intended to speed up the franchise’s already-rapid expansion by continuing to invest in the company’s menu, operations and marketing.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe has had an impressive growth trajectory, consistently building on its loyal customer base as it has scaled nationwide,” Peter Wallace, a senior managing director in Blackstone’s private equity business said. “Blackstone has deep experience helping accelerate the expansion of leading franchise businesses as one of our highest-conviction investment areas. We believe our capital and resources will help position Tropical Smoothie Cafe for continued success and innovation for the benefit of its guests and franchisees.”

A source close to the deal said Blackstone is purchasing the company for “nearly $2 billion.”

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Tropical Smoothie, which started as a single shop in Destin, Florida, in 1997, is known for its variety of smoothies and food.

The franchise expanded to over 1,400 locations in 434 states. In 2023, alone, Tropical Smoothie opened 175 new locations, with more than two-thirds of them being opened by existing franchisees.

“The key to this business is delivering an outstanding experience for each guest who walks through our doors,” Tropical Smoothie CEO Charles Watson said in the release. “From high-quality products to exceptional guest service, our franchisees make our mission to become a beloved brand a reality day in and day out, and we are thrilled to see how the brand will continue to grow with Blackstone’s outstanding global resources behind it.”

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Tropical Smoothie did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment or details about the acquisition.

Blackstone’s previous franchise deals include Hilton Hotels as well as Servpro, a company specializing in the cleanup and emergency restoration industry.

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Reuters reported last December that Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, the private equity owner of Tropical Smoothie, was getting ready to put the chain up for sale at about $2 billion.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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