Marquee Brands Acquires Sur La Table

Marquee Brands Acquires Sur La Table

Marquee Brands and CSC Generation have agreed to acquire the Sur La Table brand and all of its related intellectual property for $88.9 million.

Seattle-based Sur La Table (French for “on the table”) is a retail, catalog, and eCommerce seller of kitchenware products, including cookware, cutlery, cooks’ tools, small electrics, tabletop and linens, bakeware, glassware, housewares, and food.

Sur La Table is also one of the largest providers of non-degree cooking education in the United States with over 650,000 students. The business has 121 stores across the country and was founded in Seattle in 1972 by Shirley Collins.

Sur La Table was acquired by Investcorp in September 2011. In July 2020, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with Fortress Investment Group and Story3 Capital Partners as the stalking horse bidders with an offer valued at more than $61 million. At one time, Sur la Table was the second-largest specialty cookware retailer in the United States behind only Williams Sonoma.

Marquee Brands was formed by Neuberger Berman in 2014 to acquire, license and manage a portfolio of consumer brands. The company and Neuberger Berman closed a dedicated investment fund, Marquee Brands Partners LP, in February 2016 with $462 million of committed capital.

Marquee’s investment team is led by Samuel Porat and Zachary Sigel, both are managing directors at Neuberger Berman. The operating arm of Marquee is led by Michael DeVirgilio, president, and Cory Baker, chief operating officer. Both teams are based in New York

In May 2019, Marquee Brands formed a new Home and Food division to acquire the Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse brands from publicly-traded Sequential Brands Group. Through this new transaction, the Sur La Table brand will be incorporated under Marquee’s Home and Food division. The buy of Sur La Table is the 12th brand in Marquee’s portfolio increasing its reach to nearly $3 billion in annual retail equivalent sales.

Marquee Brands has partnered with CSC Generation on this transaction to develop new products and for its operational expertise in the home sector across retail stores and data-driven eCommerce. CSC Generation is an e-commerce investor that was founded in 2016 by CEO Justin Yoshimura, Altos Ventures, and Panasonic. The firm is headquartered near Los Angeles in Gardena, California.

“Sur La Table is a rare gem in its class and one we have been watching for some time. It’s an honor to be part of its future and we couldn’t be more excited about working with Marquee Brands as a true leader in brand building and growth,” said Mr. Yoshimura.

“Sur La Table is a beloved brand that stands for quality. It complements our strong home and culinary portfolio. Its storied legacy along with its multi-channel platform featuring experiential brick and mortar stores, a thriving e-commerce business, and unparalleled education offerings presented an incredibly compelling opportunity. We believe a revitalized Sur La Table will thrive in a post-COVID-19 retail environment,” said Carolyn D’Angelo, president of the home and food division at Marquee Brands.

“We are selective and careful to only add brands to our portfolio that serve a real purpose, bring joy into the lives of our customers, and help them celebrate life’s special moments. In partnering with industry leaders like CSC Generation, Sur La Table will offer customers a seamless omnichannel shopping experience guided by knowledgeable staff, technology, and one-of-a-kind offerings. We’ve strived to lead the charge in developing innovative, intuitive customer-centered shopping experiences to further engage and inspire. With this acquisition, and CSC as a partner, we continue our journey in pushing the boundaries of retail,” said Mr. DeVirgilio.

Neuberger Berman, founded in 1939, is a private, independent, employee-owned investment manager. The firm manages equities, fixed income, private equity and hedge fund portfolios for institutions and advisors worldwide with $357 billion in client assets as of June 30, 2020. The firm has offices in 24 countries and is headquartered in New York.

Private Equity Professional | August 19, 2020

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