Classic Party Rentals Files Bankruptcy Over Debt Load

Classic Party Rentals Inc., a provider of tents, chairs and other equipment for Oscar parties and intimate gatherings, filed for bankruptcy after a period of rapid expansion and said it was preparing to sell the business.

The Inglewood, California-based company, backed by Quad-C Management Inc., listed more than $100 million each in assets and debt in Chapter 11 papers filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The company sought “to consolidate a fragmented industry,” through acquisitions from 2004 to 2008, Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey M. Black said in court papers. The buyouts “were priced and financed based on projections that proved unattainable” as demand slowed, he said.

Classic’s books as of Dec. 26 showed $148 million in assets and $246 million in liabilities. Most of the business, supported by a $20 million of credit, will be sold in bankruptcy subject to a judge’s approval, Black said.

The company is the largest of its kind in the U.S., Black said, with 39 showrooms and warehouses and more than 2,500 employees providing tents, tables, chairs, linens, ground cover, catering gear and climate-control equipment. Classic’s units cover 145,000 events a year, Black said.

The main case is In re Event Rentals Inc., 14-bk-10282, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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