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Advent acquires minority stake in Amscan Holdings Inc., U.S. party goods market leader

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25 August 2008, Boston - Advent International, the global buyout firm, today announced that it has acquired, from existing shareholders in a secondary transaction, a 38% ownership interest in Amscan Holdings Inc., the largest manufacturer, distributor and retailer of party goods and accessories in the United States. Existing investors include Berkshire Partners, Weston Presidio and management. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Founded in 1947 and headquartered in Elmsford, N.Y., Amscan operates America's leading party-supply retail network with more than 950 stores, including franchise locations, across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, under the brand names Party City, Party America, Factory Card & Party Outlet, The Paper Factory and Halloween USA. The stores average 10,000 square feet in size and provide customers with a one-stop source for all their party needs at attractive prices.

Gerry Rittenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Amscan, said, "Advent International has a long and successful history of investing in the specialty retail sector. Their understanding of the industry and global resources make them a strong addition to our already outstanding investor group and will be a great benefit as we continue to build the business domestically and internationally."

Amscan offers one of the broadest and deepest product lines in the industry, including paper and plastic tableware, metallic balloons, accessories, novelties, gifts and stationery. Products are sold to Amscan's own stores as well as to other superstores and party goods retailers, independent card and gift stores, and other retailers and distributors worldwide. In 2007, Amscan generated pro forma gross revenue of $1.7 billion.

"Amscan is far and away the leader in both the party goods wholesale and retail markets," said Steven Collins, a Managing Director of Advent International in Boston. "The company has established an impressive business strategy and has grown significantly since it was acquired by Berkshire Partners, Weston Presidio and management in 2004. We applaud the tremendous achievements that have already been made and are excited to be able to contribute to the company's growth going forward."

Robert Small, a Managing Director at Berkshire Partners and Chairman of Amscan, said, "We are very excited to continue our successful partnership with Amscan and to have Advent as an equity investor as Gerry and his team pursue several new and exciting growth opportunities over the coming years."

Kevin Hayes, a Partner at Weston Presidio and a Director of Amscan, said “Amscan's acquisition strategy has transformed the company into a vertically integrated leader of the party goods industry. This position offers Amscan great opportunities for continued growth, and we welcome Advent's contributions as we pursue these prospects.”

The Amscan transaction reinforces Advent's position as one of the leading private equity investors in the retail sector globally. The firm has been investing in the sector for two decades and has funded over 25 retail businesses across a range of subsectors including specialty retail, value retail, duty-free and food services. Its specialty retail investments include lululemon athletica, the premier athletic and yoga apparel specialty retailer; Gérard Darel, a leading French designer and retailer of mid- to high-end women's ready-to-wear clothing; Dollar Express, a U.S. single-price retailer acquired by Dollar Tree Stores; Fat Face, the U.K.'s leading active lifestyle clothing retailer; and Kirkland's, a leading U.S. specialty retailer of home décor.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor to the selling shareholders in connection with the transaction.

About Berkshire PartnersB

erkshire Partners has invested in mid-sized private companies for more than 20 years through seven investment funds with aggregate capital commitments of approximately $6.5 billion. Berkshire seeks companies with acquisition values between $200 million and $2.0 billion and in a given transaction makes equity investments of approximately $50 million to $500 million. Berkshire has developed specific industry experience in several areas, including transportation, energy, manufacturing, business services, consumer products, retailing and communications. Over the past two decades, Berkshire has been an investor in 90 operating companies with approximately $20 billion of acquisition value and combined revenues over $22 billion. For additional information, please visit

About Weston Presidio

Weston Presidio provides growth capital to companies with exceptional management teams across a wide range of industries. Since its founding in 1991, it has managed five investment funds aggregating over $3.3 billion.. The Weston Presidio team has helped identify, build and maximize value in over 300 leading growth companies. For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this release are forward-looking and made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause Amscan's actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. Those risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the effect of price and product competition in the party goods industry in general and in Amscan's specific market areas, Amscan's ability to anticipate customer demand for products and to design and develop products that will appeal to customers, Amscan's ability to open new stores successfully and/or to identify, execute and integrate acquisitions and to realize  synergies, the availability and terms of capital to fund capital improvements, acquisitions and ongoing operations, Amscan's ability to manage successfully its franchise program, Amscan's ability to improve its fundamental business processes and reduce costs throughout its organization, Amscan's ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, changes in availability and costs of goods and services and economic conditions in general. Please see Amscan's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete discussion and analysis of these and other risks and uncertainties. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date of this release, without obligation or intention to update or revise such forward-looking statements.



Steven Collins

Managing Director, USA - Boston

T: +1 617 951 9400
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Jeff Case

Managing Director, USA - Boston

T: +1 617 951 9400
Office details