Los Angeles Business Journal

Apollo Global Wins Auction for Classic Party Rentals

By Deborah Crowe Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Classic Party Rentals on Tuesday said that a bid by affiliates of Apollo Global Management beat out an offer by creditors to take over the company.

The Inglewood-based national event rental and services provider, also known as Event Rentals Inc., filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in February. The company at the time signed an agreement to sell its business to the company’s lenders, pending higher bids.

Funds managed by New York-based Apollo, which has offices in Los Angeles and $161 billion in assets under management globally, won the Monday auction. The acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, still must approved by the bankruptcy court, which is scheduled to review the deal next week.

"We are very excited to support the recapitalization of Classic Party Rentals," Jason Scheir of Apollo Global Management said in a statement. "Classic has an outstanding reputation and leadership position in the markets it serves, and we believe that with a streamlined balance sheet the company is poised to capitalize on a number of attractive growth initiatives."

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.

The company, which 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.