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Two Investor Groups To Buy Party City

BY CSA STAFF

Rockaway, N.J., Berkshire Partners LLC and Weston Presidio, through their holding company AAH Holdings Corp., have entered into a definitive agreement to buy Party City for $360 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Party City shareholders will receive $17.50 per share in cash for each share of common stock outstanding for a total of approximately $360 million. The acquisition is expected to close by the beginning of this year or the beginning of 2006. Party City’s board of directors unanimously approved the transaction and recommended to the company’s stockholders that they approve it.

“The party retailing industry is a durable and growing business with tremendous potential,” said Robert J. Small, managing director of Berkshire Partners and chairman of AAH Holdings. “We have been impressed with Party City and the company’s ability to grow and succeed by providing a broad selection of non-seasonal and seasonal party merchandise.”

Party City has 249 company-owned stores and 250 franchise locations.

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New Contract For Kroger Unions

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Seven International Brotherhood of Teamsters locals representing 3,200 workers in Southern California have approved a new five-year contract for Kroger, the nation’s largest grocer by sales.

Kroger, Albertson’s and Safeway, the nation’s big-three supermarket chains, endured lengthy labor strikes last year, causing millions of dollars worth of losses.

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Hurricane Update: Most Stores Closed Due to Rita Reopen

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Even though Texas and Louisiana residents who fled Hurricane Rita remain displaced, the majority of retailers have restocked their shelves as they await the return of their customers.

Bracing for the wrath of Rita, Wal-Mart closed 155 stores on Saturday morning. By Sunday, all but 52 were open for business. Similarly, Target was able to reopen 28 of its 32 closed stores.

“While there was a disruption, it won’t be cataclysmic,” for merchants, said Scott Krugman, a spokesman at the Washington-based National Retail Federation. “This should have a minimum impact on nationwide sales.”

The Home Depot, the nation’s largest home improvement retailer, also reopened its doors in Texas and Louisiana. Furthermore, company spokesman Don Harrison said that over 100 trucks have been dispatched to bring additional supplies to Home Depot stores, so full shelves will greet their customers.

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