March 21, 2006 in Business

Michaels Stores considers possible sale

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

IRVING, Texas — Michaels Stores Inc., an arts and crafts retail chain, put itself up for sale Monday and said its longtime president and chief executive, R. Michael Rouleau, is retiring. Its shares rose nearly 13 percent.

Michaels said its decision to put itself up for sale as part of its broader exploration of its strategic options was driven by a desire to boost shareholder value and improve its financial performance.

The Irving-based retailer said it would leave the CEO post vacant, and named Jeffrey N. Boyer and Gregory A. Sandfort as co-presidents to succeed Rouleau in that position. The company said Rouleau, 67, was leaving “after a decade of exemplary service.”

The company declined to make Rouleau available for comment.

Boyer was previously executive vice president and chief financial officer, while Sandfort was formerly executive vice president and general merchandise manager.

Boyer will continue to hold the finance chief’s post, while Sandfort will take on the role of chief operating officer. Both co-presidents will report to Chairman Charles J. Wyly Jr. His brother Sam is vice chairman.

The Wyly’s are Texas financiers who took control of Michaels in 1984 and own more than 8 percent of the company.

Michaels shares rose $4.39, or 12.9 percent, to close at $38.35 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock hit a 52-week low of $30.38 in October 2005 and has traded in the low $30-range since the start of the year. Its 52-week high was $43.61.

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