Yankee Candle Said to Pursue IPO After Forgoing Private Sale

Yankee Candle Co., the scented-candle maker owned by Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, is pursuing an initial public offering after dropping an attempt to sell itself earlier this year, said people with knowledge of the situation.

The company enlisted Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley to lead the offering, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. The IPO may take place as soon as this year, said two of the people.

Yankee Candle would join Madison Dearborn-backed companies such as Boise Cascade Co. and CDW Corp. in going public in 2013, as the Chicago-based private-equity firm seeks to exit investments made before the financial crisis. The firm sought as much as $2 billion for South Deerfield, Massachusetts-based Yankee Candle before scrapping the process after suitors balked at that price, people familiar with the matter said in May.

Madison Dearborn acquired Yankee Candle for $1.6 billion including debt in 2007, near the peak of a record buyout boom, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The company incurred a net loss of $1.7 million in the three months through March, while sales increased 5.4 percent during the period to $163.4 million, according to a company statement.

Madison Dearborn is at least the second buyout firm to own the candle maker, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Forstmann Little & Co. bought 90 percent of the company in 1998. The following year, Yankee Candle completed an IPO, raising $225 million, the data show.

Yankee Candle sells its products through a base of more than 500 company-owned retail stores, according to its website. Representatives for Yankee Candle, Madison Dearborn, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Debtwire previously reported Yankee Candle’s IPO plans.

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