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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

(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.

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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. (Read more PetSmart stories.)

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