PetSmart agrees to $8.7B sale

PetSmart has agreed to be acquired for $8.7 billion in this year's largest private equity sale. An investors group, led by BC Partners, will pay $83 a share, which is a 39 percent premium for the company's stock price before it began exploring a sale earlier this year.

"This transaction is a testament to the strength of the PetSmart brand and franchise and reflects the dedication and commitment of our 54,000 associates to serving our customers and delivering value for our company and our shareholders," said David Lenhardt, president and CEO, PetSmart. "The consortium led by BC Partners will be an excellent partner for PetSmart as we continue to implement our strategic plan to capitalize on our opportunities for growth and meet the needs of pet parents."

The buyout is the biggest private equity deal in the world this year and a big jump over the No. 2 deal, when Blackstone bought out Gates Global for $5.4 billion, reported CNN Money.

Activist investor Jana Partners began pressuring PetSmart to sell in July, just after it acquired a 9.9 percent stake in PetSmart, making it the largest investor in the retailer.

At the time, the shareholder also announced that it would be looking to make some strategic changes, including cutting costs by $200 million this year in an effort to improve future growth.

At the same time, PetSmart went through 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 CNN Money article

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