Container Store Prices Offering at $18

DALLAS (AP) -

The Container Store Group Inc. has priced its initial public offering of 12.5 million shares at $18 each, above the expected range of $14 to $16.

The seller of boxes and all manner of other storage items will pull in $225 million, before expenses, at that price. The Container Store plans to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange and under the ticker symbol “TCS” beginning Friday. The company is also giving underwriters the option to buy up to nearly 1.9 million shares.

J.P. Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Securities and Jefferies are acting as joint book-running managers of the proposed offering, and Guggenheim Securities is acting as co-manager.

The Container Store, based in Dallas, has 62 stores nationwide that sell organization and storage products. It also owns Elfa, a Swedish maker of storage system parts that are sold in its stores and elsewhere.

The company is unprofitable, but its revenue is growing again after taking a hit during the recession. Sales have increased 28 percent over the past five fiscal years. Sales came to $706.8 million in Container Store’s most recent fiscal year, which ended March 2.

It plans to spend proceeds on paying preferred dividends to its private equity firm backer, Leonard Green & Partners, as well as current and former employees, and repaying debt. Leonard Green will own nearly 61 percent of the company’s shares after the IPO.