NEW YORK (AP) — PetSmart said Wednesday that it has been taken private, as a group of investors led by the buyout firm BC Partners completed their $8.7 billion acquisition of the pet store retailer.
PetSmart President and CEO David Lenhart and Chairman Gregory Josefowicz are stepping down as part of the deal. Michael Massey is being named president and CEO, and Raymond Svider is the new non-executive chairman. Massey is the former CEO of Collective Brands Inc., which owns Payless ShoeSource, and Svider is managing partner at BC Partners.
Lenhart became CEO of PetSmart in June 2013, the same time Josefowicz became chairman. Lenhart became president of the company in April 2014.
In early July the activist hedge fund manager Jana Capital disclosed that it had taken a stake in PetSmart and had become the Phoenix-based company's largest shareholder. Jana Partners said it wanted to talk to PetSmart's board about a possible sale of the company and other changes that it said would improve company performance. Another major shareholder, Longview Asset Management, also pushed for the sale.
PetSmart said at the time that it would consider putting itself up for sale and would cut costs. On Dec. 14, the company said it would be taken private in a deal that valued the company at $83 per share. That was a 39 percent premium to its closing price on July 2. PetSmart Inc. shareholders approved the sale on Friday. The company operates about 1,387 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
The company's shares rose 4 cents to $82.99 in afternoon trading. The stock will be delisted after the close of trading Wednesday.