Michaels Prices Stock Offering at Low-End of Expectations

This story has been updated from 2:51 pm ET to include Michaels IPO pricing.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Michaels, the arts and crafts specialty retailer that was taken private in 2006, priced 27.8 million shares at $17 a share on Thursday evening, raising $472 million, according to a press release. The price, which was at the low-end of the range given in the company's regulatory filing, values the company at roughly $3.45 billion.

Michaels is slated to begin trading Friday on Nasdaq under the ticker "MIK." 

The Irving, Texas-based company, with 1,263 stores between its two brands (Michaels and Aaron Brothers) had said that it planned to sell shares between $17 and $19, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filingJPMorgan Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS), Barclays (BCS) and Deutsche Bank (DB) are lead underwriters on the deal.

Sources said earlier in the day that investors weren't scrambling to get in on the deal, likely due to company's debt load.

"My channel checks, are currently revealing, that Michael's will 'likely' price at the bottom end or slightly below the $17.00-$19.00 prevailing range. Investors are very concerned at the huge amount of indebtedness that the company has on its balance sheet," Scott Sweet, senior managing partner of IPO Boutique, wrote in an email to TheStreet earlier this afternoon. "However, Michaels has made some good turnaround moves causing improvement in both [year-over-year] revenue and the profit picture. Demand is lukewarm, and I do not expect 'fireworks' initially from this IPO debut."

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