Specialty Retailers, acquired in the late 1980s by Bain Capital, was the buyout firm’s most ambitious and risky deal up to that time. Mitt Romney helped arrange $300 million in junk bond financing with Michael Milken’s investment bank.
1988 Bain Capital invests $10 million to create Houston department store chain Specialty Retailers Inc. It borrows $300 million in junk bonds from Drexel Burnham Lambert to finance the deal.
1992 Bain’s first effort at an IPO for the company flops.
1993 Company refinances debt, distributes $80 million to Bain and other investors.
Oct. 1996 Company changes name to Stage Stores Inc., goes public at $16.50 a share.
1997 New CEO Carl Tooker takes over and in June buys C.R. Anthony Co., a 246-store chain, nearly doubling the size of the company. By September, Bain sells all its shares at $34.88 and leaves the board. Bain makes a $175 million profit on its investment.
1998 The stock keeps rising, and Bain buys back shares, as a minority investment.
June 1, 2000 Stage files for bankruptcy protection, with $445 million in long-term debt.