THL buys most of Party City, values it at $2.7 billion

NEW YORK Tue Jun 5, 2012 9:32am EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thomas H. Lee Partners has struck a deal to buy control of Party City in a deal that values North America's largest retailer of party goods at $2.69 billion, the private equity firm said on Tuesday.

The retailer's current private equity owners -- Advent International Corp, Berkshire Partners LLC and Weston Presidio -- as well as Party City management will retain minority stakes in the company, THL said.

The sale comes more than a year after Party City's owners filed for an initial public offering. The IPO market has been facing challenges from weak global stock markets and Facebook Inc's (FB.O) troubled stock sale.

Reuters reported last week that Boston-based THL was nearing a deal, worth $2.6 billion and $2.8 billion, to buy Party City after beating out two other private equity suitors -- BC Partners and a consortium of Leonard Green & Partners LP and TPG Capital Management TPG.UL.

Party City sells party supplies, decorations and costumes, mainly under its namesake brand and the Halloween City, Factory Card & Party Outlet and Party Packagers names.

"Party City leads the $10 billion retail party goods industry in terms of product selection and retail network," said THL Managing Director Todd M. Abbrecht.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) and Moelis & Company acted as financial advisors and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal advisor to THL. Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) advised Party City.

(Reporting By Soyoung Kim and Michael Erman; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Lisa Von Ahn)

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