The Michaels Companies (NASDAQ: MIK) and funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE:APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries “Apollo”) announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which investment funds managed by affiliates of Apollo have agreed to acquire the Company in a transaction that values Michaels at an equity value of approximately $3.3 billion (for a transaction valued at $5.0 billion).
Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Michaels Board of Directors, Apollo will commence a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Michaels for $22.00 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a 47% premium to the closing stock price on February 26, 2021 (the last trading day prior to press speculation about a potential transaction involving Michaels) of $15.00 per share and a 78% premium to the 90-day volume-weighted average price.
“The Company’s impressive growth transformation, including our financial and operational performance in the unprecedented environment of the pandemic, led to an unsolicited offer to buy the company,” said James Quella, Chairman of the Michaels Board of Directors. “Following that offer, the board undertook a comprehensive process to test the market and to evaluate the value maximizing path forward for shareholders. The Board of Directors, informed by that process, firmly believes Apollo’s offer represents a compelling value to our shareholders. It has been a privilege to work with Ashley and the management team as they coalesced around the transformation strategy, reimagined the Michaels omni-channel experience, and drove strong business outcomes in a challenging retail environment.” “Our Michaels strategy and the work that we have done in the past year have led to phenomenal business results, strengthened our core business and positioned Michaels for long-term sustainable growth,” said Ashley Buchanan, Chief Executive Officer of Michaels. “We are excited to enter into this new chapter together with Apollo, who shares our strategic vision for Michaels as an omnichannel retailer that offers a one-stop-shop experience for the entire Michaels community. As a private company, we will have financial flexibility to invest in, expand, and improve our retail and digital platforms.”
Andrew S. Jhawar, Senior Partner and Head of the Retail and Consumer Group at Apollo, said, “On behalf of the Apollo Funds, we are delighted about this transaction with Michaels, which has continued to elevate its position as the leading player in the exciting arts and crafts industry. Michaels is the go-to-destination in arts and crafts for the deepest breadth of assortment with best-in-class customer service. We believe there is a significant opportunity to enhance the Michaels brand, store experience and omnichannel offering to its customers across North America. Our team at Apollo expects to leverage many of the strategies from our funds’ successful investments in other specialty retailers and grocers with Michaels. We are looking forward to working with the management team and the over 45,000 team members at Michaels in further enhancing the Company’s retail and digital channels as the most inspiring and engaging experience in the arts and crafts industry.”
The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of certain regulatory periods and the tender of shares representing at least a majority of the Company’s outstanding common stock to Apollo, and is expected to close in Michaels’ first half of the Company’s fiscal year. Following the successful completion of the tender offer, Apollo managed funds will acquire all remaining shares not tendered in the tender offer through a second-step merger at the same price. The transaction will be financed through a combination of equity provided by Apollo managed funds as well as a committed debt financing package to be provided by Credit Suisse, Barclays, Wells Fargo, RBC Capital Markets, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho, and Bank of America. The merger agreement provides for a “go-shop” period, during which Michaels – with the assistance of UBS Investment Bank, its exclusive financial advisor – will actively solicit, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations with and provide due diligence access to parties that submit alternative proposals. The go-shop period is 25 calendar days, commencing today. Michaels will have the right to terminate the merger agreement to enter into a superior proposal subject to the conditions and procedures specified in the merger agreement, which Michaels will file with a Current Report on Form 8-K. There can be no assurance this process will result in a superior proposal. Michaels does not intend to disclose developments about this process unless and until its Board of Directors has made a decision with respect to any potential superior proposal.
Upon the completion of the transaction, Michaels will become a privately held company and shares of MIK common stock will no longer be listed on any public market.
UBS Investment Bank is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Michaels and Ropes & Gray is acting as legal advisor to Michaels. Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, are acting as legal advisors to Apollo and Credit Suisse acted as Apollo’s financial advisor.
Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2020 Results Update In light of the announced transaction, the Company will issue a press release with its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2020, before market open on Thursday, March 4, 2021, but the earnings conference call that was scheduled for Thursday, March 4, 2021, at 8:00 am CT will no longer take place. About The Michaels Companies, Inc.: The Michaels Companies, Inc. is North America's largest specialty provider of arts, crafts, framing, floral, wall décor, and seasonal merchandise for Michaels and do-it-yourself home decorators. The Company operates more than 1,275 Michaels stores in 49 states and Canada. Additionally, the Company serves customers through digital platforms including Michaels.com and Canada.michaels.com. The Michaels Companies, Inc., also owns Artistree, a manufacturer of high-quality custom and specialty framing merchandise. For a list of store locations or to shop online, visit www.michaels.com or download the Michaels app.
Apollo is a leading global investment manager with offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Bethesda, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, among others. Apollo had assets under management of approximately $455 billion as of December 31, 2020 in credit, private equity and real assets funds. For more information about Apollo, please visit www.apollo.com.
In this episode of Talks at GS, Leon Black discusses co-founding Apollo three decades ago and how he helped build it into one of the world’s leading investment firms. He also spoke about his views on the future of the global private equity industry. Feb 6, 2020