Investcorp Acquires US Kitchenware Retailer Sur La Table

NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, announced today that it has acquired Sur La Table, a leading national kitchenware retailer with locations across the United States.  The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Sur La Table was acquired from the Behnke family and investment firm Freeman Spogli & Co. who will both remain as investors in the company.

With its headquarters in Seattle, WA, Sur La Table is a multi-channel retailer that sells through 86 stores in the United States, as well as through its catalog, website and gift registry.  It offers a broad selection of kitchenware brands and products to assist in the preparation and presentation of cooking.  In addition, the company offers the largest avocational culinary instruction program in the United States, teaching over 100,000 cooking enthusiasts a year how and what to cook.  

"Sur La Table's management team, led by CEO Jack Schwefel, has built a market leading, multi-channel retailer with a unique product offering and a high level of customer service," said Kevin Nickelberry, a Managing Director at Investcorp.  "We believe that Sur La Table is well positioned in its existing markets and has multiple opportunities for growth including new store expansion and e-commerce."

Jack Schwefel, CEO of Sur La Table, said, "I am very excited about our new partnership and our future growth opportunities with Investcorp.  Sur La Table is the leading destination for those with a passion for cooking and a love for food, and will maintain the values that reflect our character and commitment to our customers, our employees and the communities in which we live and work."

Morgan Joseph TriArtisan Group Inc. acted as financial advisor to Investcorp.  William Blair & Company acted as sellside advisor to the Behnke family and Freeman Spogli & Co.

About Sur La Table

Since its beginnings in Seattle's Pike Place Market in 1972, Sur La Table has believed that the kitchen is the center of the home.  Today, those with a passion for cooking and a love for food can discover a leading selection of global brands in 86 Sur La Table stores, online at www.surlatable.com, through the Sur La Table Catalog and via the Sur La Table Gift Registry.  With cooking classes in over 25 locations, Sur La Table operates the largest avocational cooking school nationwide.  From essential basics to hard-to-find specialty tools and cookware, Sur La Table is sure to have something for every cook.

About Investcorp

Investcorp is a leading provider and manager of alternative investment products.  Investcorp has offices in New York, London and Bahrain and is publicly traded on the Bahrain Bourse (INVCORP).  Investcorp has three business areas: corporate investment in the US, Europe and the Gulf, real estate investment in the US and global hedge funds.  As at March 31, 2011, Investcorp had $11.8 billion in assets under management.  Further information is available at www.investcorp.com.

About Freeman Spogli & Co.

Freeman Spogli & Co. is a private equity firm dedicated exclusively to investing in and partnering with management in consumer-related companies in the retailing, direct marketing and distribution industries in the United States. Since its founding in 1983, Freeman Spogli has invested over $2.8 billion in 45 portfolio companies with aggregate transaction values of over $17 billion, and is currently making investments from FS Equity Partners VI, L.P. Freeman Spogli has offices in Los Angeles and New York. For additional information, visit www.freemanspogli.com.

About the Behnke Family

The Seattle-based Behnke Family purchased the first Sur La Table store in 1995.  Under its guidance, Sur La Table expanded from a single location adding 19 stores over the following five years, developed the culinary instruction program and launched the company's first e-commerce site.  

SOURCE Investcorp



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