PetSmart Sells To Private Investment Firm For $8.7B

Who knew that pet care could be such a lucrative business? Just as the year comes to an end, PetSmart announced it would sell itself for $8.7 billion to a private equity firm, fetching the title of largest private equity deal of 2014.

The New York Times reports that officials with PetSmart announced the gargantuan deal Sunday to sell itself to a group led by European-American investment firm BC Partners.

The sale comes just months after the retailer came under pressure from two hedge funds to explore a sale. Ultimately, BC Partners, which is a previous investor of Office Depot, along with several smaller firms, including a Quebec pension fund, won a months-long auction for the retailer.

Under the deal, BC Partners and its limited partners will pay about $83 a share in cash, about 6.8% higher than PetSmart’s closing Price on Friday, the Times reports.

PetSmart currently operates more than 1,300 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, selling everything from pet toys, food and feature adoptable pets through local rescues.

“The question is, ‘Why haven’t there been more people interested in PetSmart?’” Raymond Svider, a managing partner of BC Partners, says in a statement. “The category of pet products has been growing in the U.S. and abroad consistently for a number of years.”

The times reports that the transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year, pending approval from shareholders and regulators.

PetSmart to Sell Itself to Investor Group for $8.7 Billion [The New York Times]