Party City Goes Public With Hopes Of Raising $500M


It’s not time to pop champagne and hand out the party favors yet…

The owners of Party City are hoping that with their IPO today, they can raise over $500 million dollars – this should be interesting.

Their stock ticker symbol is “PRTY” and as of now, it’s current price is about $20 (they were set to open at $17 per share). Currently, Party City is the largest party goods retailer in North America with over 880 locations. One thing to note is that they also distribute their supplies to nearly 40,000 other retailers.

As of now, there are two main private equity companies that own a majority of the company: Thomas H. Lee Partners (which owns about 69% of the company) and the investment firm Advent International Corp which controls nearly 25%.

The real question today is whether or not you should invest in Party City. Their history is quite impressive and may move you towards putting money in. Founded in 1947 as a wholesaler, Party city grew their company by acquisition. They design, manufacturer, and sell many different products such as balloons, costumes, and stationary.

In the first 9 months of 2013, the company posted losses of about $51 million dollars despite its revenue equating to $1.34 billion. Their plans for this year are to open 30 more stores in North America and hopes to increase their online sales past its current mark of $100 million.

As with many companies, Party City hopes to raise enough money through their IPO to pay off some of the debt they have acquired over the years. You may think this sounds bad, but its actually quite common. Just recently, GoDaddy had their IPO which helped them pay off a lot of their debt as well. Unfortunately, their stock prices have dipped since their launch.

What Do You Think?