Party City files for IPO of up to $500 mln-Reuters

(Reuters) – Party City Holdco Inc, the largest U.S. party goods retailer backed by buyout firm Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, filed with U.S. regulators to raise up to $500 million in an initial public offering of common stock.

Founded in 1947, Party City has 40,000 retail outlets worldwide, which include its own stores, independent party supply stores and grocery retailers.

Thomas H. Lee acquired a majority stake in Party City in a $2.69 billion deal from private equity peers Advent International Corp, Berkshire Partners LLC and Weston Presidio in 2012. It currently holds about 70 percent stake, while Advent holds about 24 percent.

Party City told the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission in a preliminary prospectus on Tuesday that Goldman Sachs, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse were among the lead underwriters for the IPO.

Reuters first reported in November that the company was planning go to public.

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. It had 12-month revenue to the end of June of more than $1.9 billion, according to Moody’s Investors Service Inc.

Party City’s filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell or their expected price.

The company intends to list under the symbol “PRTY,” though it did not specify which exchange its wants to get listed.

Net proceeds from the offering will be used to repay debt and for working capital purposes, Elmsford, New York-based Party City said in the filing.

The company, whose biggest markets include UK, France, Germany and Australia apart from North America, reported a net loss of $51.7 million and revenue of $1.33 billion for the nine months ended Sept. 30.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.