Jana Partners now largest PetSmart shareholder, pushes change

Investor Jana Partners has acquired a 9.9 percent stake in PetSmart, making it the largest investor in the retailer. The shareholder also announced that it will be looking to make some strategic changes.

The retailer has had a difficult year thus far. First quarter same store sales fell 0.6 percent, while PetSmart predicted that same store sales would be flat or slightly down in the second quarter, perhaps for the entire year.

The company could be bracing for some major changes as Jana Partners said it planned to ask PetSmart to explore a sale. PetSmart issued a statement regarding Jana's filing saying it "welcomes open communications with its shareholders and values constructive input toward the goal of enhancing shareholder value. Our Board and management team are committed to creating value for all PetSmart shareholders, and we will continue to take actions to accomplish this goal and position the company for growth and success."

PetSmart has recently undergone some management changes. Phil Bowman was named executive VP of customer experience – a newly created position – and Michael Goodwin was made senior VP and CIO. Earlier this year Joseph O'Leary retired and David Lenhardt assumed the title of president and CEO.

For more:
-See this PetSmart press release
-See this Bloomberg story

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