Michaels Cos., the U.S. crafting and hobby retail chain, has agreed to a sale to Apollo Global Management at an equity value of about US$3.3 billion.

Apollo will pay US$22 per share to Michaels shareholders -- a 22 per cent premium from Tuesday’s close. Michaels trading was halted ahead of the news. The shares had risen about 39 per cent year to date. The Michaels board of directors has unanimously approved the deal, according to a statement.

Although the offer was unsolicited, Michaels Chairman James Quella said it just made sense. The company’s management “firmly believes Apollo’s offer represents a compelling value to our shareholders.”

The deal will be financed through equity provided by Apollo managed funds and a financing package to be provided by Credit Suisse, Barclays, Wells Fargo, RBC Capital Markets, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho and Bank of America. It is expected to close in the first half of the fiscal year. The agreement includes a 25-day “go-shop” period, during which Michaels with the assistance of adviser UBS Investment Bank can talk to other potential partners.

A Michaels representative declined to comment beyond the statement.