Daily News: June 6, 2012

Thomas H. Lee Partners Acquires Majority Stake in Party City


Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (THL), a private equity firm, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement under which it will acquire a majority stake in Party City Holdings Inc., a party supplies retailer, in a recapitalization transaction valued at $2.69 billion. Advent International, Berkshire Partners, Weston Presidio and company management, which currently own Party City, will continue to hold significant minority stakes following the recapitalization.

“Party City leads the $10 billion retail party goods industry in terms of product selection and retail network. We look forward to working closely with the team at Party City to maximize its scale and vertically integrated business model to continue to grow its business,” said Todd M. Abbrecht, a managing director at THL.

“From its founding in 1947, the company has evolved to become a world-class company with widely recognized brands, a broad product offering, a strong global sourcing model and a category-defining retail concept,” said Gerald C. Rittenberg, Party City’s CEO. “The management team and I look forward to welcoming THL as an investor and working with the expanded shareholder group to position us for future growth across each of our channels. We are appreciative of the terrific partnership and guidance of our existing investors in the development and execution of our strategic plan.”

Party City’s decorated party supply products are available in over 40,000 retail outlets worldwide, as well as in its own retail network of approximately 825 permanent party superstores and 400 temporary Halloween locations.

“Party City is by far the leader in the wholesale and retail party goods industry,” said Steven J. Collins, a managing director at Advent International. “With the additional leadership and support of THL, we believe the company is well-positioned to continue its successful development.”

“We are proud of Party City’s achievements since our original investment in 2004 and fortunate to have a long-standing, talented management team,” said Robert J. Small, a managing director at Berkshire Partners. “We believe the company is in an even better position today and are excited to remain partners with Gerry and his team for this next chapter of growth.”

Kevin M. Hayes, a partner at Weston Presidio, said, “We believe Party City has significant opportunities to enhance its leadership position in the party goods industry. We look forward to working with the THL team and our existing partners to help Party City pursue and achieve its growth objectives.”

BofA Merrill Lynch and Moelis & Company acted as financial advisors and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal advisor to THL. Goldman Sachs, & Co. and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as financial advisors to Party City. Ropes & Gray acted as legal advisor to Advent International, Berkshire Partners, Weston Presidio and Party City.