Pinkberry Bought By Company Behind Cold Stone Creamery, Blimpie

For 10 years, Pinkberry has been heaping cereal and candy toppings on to its yogurt-ish frozen desserts, often not far from a Cold Stone Creamery, where employees folded some of those same ingredients into ice cream, possibly while singing a song. Now it looks like the two brands will be under the same corporate umbrella.

Pinkberry, which operators some 260 stores in 20 countries, announced yesterday that it had been bought by Arizona-based Kahala Brands, which also owns other food court favorites like Blimpie, Tasti D-Lite, Ranch1, and Planet Smoothie, among others. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The frozen dessert chain seemingly came out of nowhere during the height of the celebrity-obsessed housing bubble. Much like the recently shuttered Kitson chain of boutique clothing stores, many people learned of Pinkberry by seeing reality stars and TV actors chowing down on the tangy treats.

But things started to go sour in recent years, most notably after company co-founder Young Lee was arrested in 2012 for assaulting a homeless man. He was later sentenced to seven years behind bars for his crime.

The post-bubble years have not been kind to the frozen yogurt industry, with some predicting a collapse like the one that befell heavily hyped cupcake chain Crumbs.

In a statement, Kahala CEO Michael Serruya says the acquisition will “help maximize the brand’s potential for continued evolution and success. It’s an excellent strategic fit for our company and presents an exciting opportunity for future development.”

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