After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July, cookware chain Sur La Table has sold for $88.9 million. The retail chain was purchased by a joint venture between e-commerce investment firm CSC Generation and brand management firm Marquee Brands. The sale comes with a pledge that the company will keep at least 50 of its 121 stores open, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Merrillville, Indiana–based technology platform and holding company CSC Generation has made a habit of purchasing bankrupt and distressed home brands, scooping up luxury e-commerce site One Kings Lane from Bed Bath & Beyond in April, in addition to buying Z Gallerie and DirectBuy out of bankruptcy in recent years.
CSC Generation, itself a joint venture between tech entrepreneur Justin Yoshimura and Chinese private equity firm China Science & Merchants Investment Management Group, was founded in 2016 to “[save] retail by leveraging our proprietary tech and operating expertise,” according to the company’s website. Yoshimura has yet to comment on the acquisition of Sur La Table, but has previously expressed interest in acquiring Pier 1 and Kirkland’s, two other beleaguered home brands—even going as far as to reportedly make a bid for the former, though Pier 1’s bankruptcy process has been paused due to the pandemic.
Marquee Brands, which is based in New York and Los Angeles, has a portfolio that includes two other brands in the home space, Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse, in addition to fashion retailers such as BCBGMAXAZRIA and Motherhood Maternity.
The two firms reportedly outbid Fortress Investment Group for the cookware company at auction last week. Sur La Table was believed to be headed toward liquidation when Fortress made a so-called stalking-horse offer for the brand, which set the floor for further bids.
Founded in 1972 at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Sur La Table is known for both upscale cookware and its in-store cooking demonstrations. The sale will have to be approved in bankruptcy court, but, should it be finalized, would reportedly save approximately 2,000 jobs.
Homepage photo: Courtesy of Sur La Table