Inglewood event rental and services provider Classic Party Rentals Inc. has said it signed an agreement to sell most of its business to a newly established entity owned by the company’s lenders.
Classic, which provides tents, tables, chairs, linens, ground cover, catering and climate-control equipment, grew rapidly through acquisitions from 2004 to 2008 to become the largest vendor of its kind in the United States, with 39 locations and more than 2,500 employees, according to Chapter 11 papers filed last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.
But the company, which said it handles about 145,000 events a year, struggled under its debt load and never recovered after business slowed during the recession. It had $246 million in liabilities and $148 million in assets as of Dec. 26.
Classic now has a commitment for $20 million in debtor-in-possession financing, which the company said should be more than sufficient to fund operations during the sale process. Affiliates of Quad-C Management Inc. of Charlottesville, Va. are its major lenders. Affiliates of SAC Capital Management of New York and JPM Mezzanine Capital of New York have minority stakes.
“The terms of our financing commitment provide us with the ability to immediately invest in new inventory ahead of the busy spring and summer event seasons,” Chief Executive Jeff Black said in a statement.
The sales agreement, which must still be approved by the court, includes solicitation of better offers.
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