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Special Events

Classic scoops up Ducky-Bob's and Abbey Event Services

L.A.-based Classic Party Rentals, the biggest event rental company in the U.S., continued its acquisition spree with the announcement last week that it has acquired Ducky-Bob's Party & Tent Rentals, a major player in Texas, and Montebello, Calif.-based Abbey Event Services, a fixture in the L.A. market for years. Terms were not disclosed.

The news comes on the heels of Classic's acquisition last month of the tent rental operations of Torrance, Calif.-based Aztec Tents & Events. Classic now has 14 locations and generates combined annual revenue of $140 million, the company reports. The sale also marks the exit from the party rental scene of Stellar Event & Presentation Resources, Houston, former owner of Ducky-Bob's and Abbey. Stellar grabbed headlines starting in 1998 with its consolidation campaign but has sold off its party rental outlets in recent years.

Ducky-Bob's, with locations in Dallas and Fort Worth, ranks 14th on Special Event Magazine's "30 Top Event Rental Companies" list. Its client roster includes fund-raisers and work with venues such as Texas Motor Speedway, Texas Stadium, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University. The company will continue operating under the Ducky-Bob's name in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, according to company reports.

"I think it is a great strategic fit and an opportunity to be involved with a group that has as its core focus the party rental industry," Ducky-Bob's general manager Bick Jones tells Special Events. "There are great people involved with Classic, and I think the opportunity exists to build a significant brand in a highly fragmented industry--with plenty of runway in front of the company to continue to grow."

Abbey Event Services, which ranks 15th on the Special Events list, serves Hollywood studios including Disney, Sony and Universal and famed area venues such as Dodger Stadium and Staples Center. Abbey Event Services will be renamed Classic Party Rentals and led by Clayton Frech, formerly with Classic's El Segundo, Calif., location, replacing Martin Hubbard.

"With the acquisition of Ducky-Bob's and Abbey Event Services, we have immediately expanded our geographic reach and added companies with a tradition of excellent service to a distinguished list of clients," said John Campanelli, Classic Party Rentals CEO. "We are particularly pleased to service the elite party rental market in Texas. We look forward to welcoming Abbey Event Services' and Ducky-Bob's employees and clients into the Classic family."

The acquisition of Ducky-Bob's represents Classic Party Rentals' continued expansion beyond California. "We hope to strengthen these important relationships in Texas and southern California," said Classic Party Rentals COO Mike Bjornstad. "Our newest clients will soon realize that Classic Party Rentals' dedication to customer service and high-quality equipment is unwavering."

For an interview with longtime Aztec president Chuck Miller on the consolidation trend, see the January issue of Special Events.

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