Sur La Table Sold

Gourmet kitchenware merchant Sur La Table has been acquired by investment bank Investcorp. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but two of Sur La Table’s former owners, the Behnke family and private investment firm Freeman Spogli & Co., will remain investors in the company.

Sur La Table started as a retailer in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1972 and mailed its first catalog in 1988. The Behnke family of Seattle bought Sur La Table in 1995 and began expanding its retail presence.

The company today includes 86 stores, the catalog and a website that was relaunched this past January. Sur La Table is planning to add nine stores this year.

The multichannel merchant is run by Jack Schwefel, who joined Sur La Table in May 2006 as vice president of retail stores. Schwefel was named president of the company in 2007 and CEO in 2008. While Sur La Table, which employs more than 2,300 people, does not release financial data, its sales are estimated to be over $200 million.