Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) and a consortium including South Korea's National Pension Service (NPS) will invest $46m in Smoothies Korea.

Through the investment, Smoothies Korea is purchasing its franchisor to complete the ownership of the Smoothie King brand and its operations globally.

The latest investment is the fourth investment that SCPE has materialised with the NPS co-investment programme since its launch in March 2011.

SCPE head in Korea Charles Huh said, "We are enthusiastic about the company’s plans to acquire the global brand, and we look forward to assisting Smoothie King in its efforts to become the Starbucks-equivalent of the fast-growing and health-conscious quick service restaurant segment."

In 2012, Smoothies Korea will open stores in Singapore and Standard Chartered will support the company’s expansion through its client relationships with mall operators and real estate developers in the regions.