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Craft chain Michaels Stores files for IPO

By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — Arts-and-crafts chain Michaels Stores Inc. is seeking to raise $500 million in an initial public offering.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Michaels said it intended to use the money to help pay down $3.49 billion in debt and for working capital and other general corporate expenses.

The Irving, Texas-based chain, which operates more than 1,000 Michaels stores and 130 Aaron Brothers shops throughout the country, said it hasn’t yet determined how many shares to issue and at what price.

Michaels was traded publicly until private equity firms Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group acquired the company and took it private in 2006.

Propelled by the rising popularity of craft and do-it-yourself projects, Michaels saw its profit soar nearly 71 percent to $176 million last fiscal year, from $103 million a year earlier. Sales also rose 4.4 percent to $4.2 billion, up from $4.03 billion a year ago.

Shares of Michaels are to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MIK.

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