Celebrate Express Goes Public

On Oct. 20, Kirkland, WA-based party gifts and accessories marketer Celebrate Express joins catalogers such as Williams-Sonoma, Sharper Image, and Cabela’s as a publicly traded company.

According to news reports, the $51.7 million Celebrate Express, which began selling proprietary party products via catalog in 1994, plans to use the estimated $24 million in IPO proceeds to pay down its debt and to fund potential acquisitions of complementary businesses or products. Approximately 1.7 million shares are expected to be offered to the public at a range of $13 to $15 under the stock ticker “BDAY” on the Nasdaq exchange.

The company sells through three brands: the Birthday Express title, which represents about 80% of total sales and sells party products and accessories; its Storybook Heirlooms catalog, acquired in 2001, which sells specialty apparel business for girls; and the recently launched Costume Express, which offers Halloween outfits and accessories.