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HHGregg Looking To Go Public

Gregg Appliances, the privately held white- and brown-goods chain, is looking to take itself public in an IPO valued at about $173 million.

The retailer’s shares would trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol HGG, and the company’s name would revert to its trade moniker, hhgregg, under a corporate reorganization.

The multi-region retailer is 80 percent owned by Freeman Spogli & Co., a private investment firm which acquired the company in a leveraged buyout in 2005. The balance of the business is held by its management team, led by chairman Jerry Throgmartin. The recapitalization helped fuel new store growth and market expansion, and allowed family members to cash out their equity in the company, founded in 1955 by the Gregg and Throgmartin clans.

Gregg will use the cash raised from the sale of its common stock to pay off and buy back debt securities. The price of the shares and the timing of the offering were not disclosed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week but the retailer did not provide further comment.

The chain operates 76 stores in eight states and last reported net sales of $335.1 million during its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006. Net income fell 52 percent, due in part to a one-time pretax gain during the prior year period.