Investor Group Gets Its Claws on PetSmart for $8.7B Acquisition led by BC Partners will be 2014's largest private-equity deal By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff Posted Dec 15, 2014 11:25 AM CST 5 comments Comments PetSmart is the cat's meow to probable new owner BC Partners. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The question probably shouldn't be why someone just snatched up PetSmart for $8.7 billion, but why more investors weren't interested in acquiring this retailer. That's what a managing director of BC Partners—the private equity firm that led itself and other buyers in a strategic move to purchase the pet supplies retailer—tells the New York Times in explaining why the year's biggest leveraged buyout of a US company took place yesterday. The pet-product segment is booming, he notes, and the Times points to PetSmart's relatively low debt and decent cash flow. PetSmart, which has about 1,300 stores, had revealed in August it was seeking buyers after shareholders urged such a move. StepStone and Canadian pension manager La Caisse are among the other buyers in the deal, the AP reports. The sale, which has surpassed the Blackstone Group's $5.4 billion purchase of automaker Gates Global in July, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015, Fox Business notes.