An employee at a Michaels in Cincinnati
Photograph by Luke Sharrett — Bloomberg/Getty Images
By Phil Wahba and Dan Primack
June 26, 2014

After a long wait to return to the public markets, arts and crafts retailer Michaels priced shares in its initial public offering for $17 on Thursday, according to a report by CNBC.

While the pricing is at the low end of the $17-$19 range Michaels had estimated last week, the deal values Michaels at $3.45 billion, and nonetheless represents a windfall for its two largest investors, private equity firms Bain Capital and Blackstone  (BX). Shares will start trading on Friday on Nasdaq.

According to Capital IQ, Michaels was purchased for $5.8 billion in 2006 (plus some optionality). It adds that the leveraged financing was $4.8 billion, meaning $1 billion in equity was put in. At $17 per share, however, the investor group’s stake is worth $2.77 billion. Moreover, the sponsors received a $714 million dividend last year. All told, that it represents a $3.48 billion in current value on a $1 billion investment.

Bain and Blackstone, along with a third major investor, Highfields Capital Management, will still collectively own 85.5% of shares after the IPO (83.4% if underwriters, led by J.P. Morgan  and Goldman Sachs exercise their option to buy shares from the selling stockholders).

The IPO raised $473 million, good enough to make it the largest IPO by a retailer since 2011, when GNC went public. The proceeds will go to pay off notes the company issued last year to finance a dividend for its owners.

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