Party City IPO Values Festive Retailer at Nearly $2B

Features Reuters

Party City Holdco Inc's initial public offering has been priced at $17 per share, an underwriter said, valuing the largest U.S. party goods retailer at about $1.97 billion.

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The company's IPO will raise about $372 million at that price, the high end of an expected range of $15-$17 per share.

Party City, backed by buyout firm Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, is selling all the 21.88 million shares in the offering.

Party City sells party supplies such as paper and plastic tableware, balloons, decorations and costumes mainly under its namesake brand and others such as Halloween City and Party Packagers.

With about 860 locations, Party City says it has the only coast-to-coast network of party superstores in the United States and Canada, according to its filing.

The company expects to open about 30 stores each year, starting this year, in North America.

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Operating in the $10 billion retail party goods industry, the company's products are available in over 100 countries including the UK, France, Germany and Australia.

Thomas H. Lee acquired a majority stake in Party City for $2.69 billion in 2012 from private equity peers Advent International Corp, Berkshire Partners LLC and Weston Presidio.

Thomas H. Lee's stake will drop to 54.6 percent from 69.3 percent after the offering, if the underwriters exercise their full option. Advent's stake would drop to 18.8 from 23.8 percent.

Party City reported an 11 percent rise in revenue to about $2.27 billion in 2014. Net income jumped to $56.1 million from $4.2 million a year earlier.

The company's shares are expected to start trading on Thursday on the Nasdaq under the symbol "PRTY."

Goldman Sachs, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley were among the underwriters for the offering.

(Reporting By Sudarshan Varadhan and Avik Das in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)