PetSmart: Changes At The Very Top

19601 North 27th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027

(623) 580-6100

Internet Homepage:

Year founded:

Total Stores:

Total Annual Sales:

Senior Executives:
Michael J. MasseyPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Bruce ThornExecutive VP, Store Operations, Services and Supply Chain


On March 6, after its special meeting of stockholders, PetSmart, Inc. became a private company.  Stockholders approved the acquisition of PetSmart by a consortium led by BC Partners, Inc. and including La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, affiliates of StepStone Group LP and Longview Asset Management, LLC. The complex path toward approval of the acquisition formally began last July.

The price of the acquisition, $8.7 billion, raised many investor eyebrows.  It is easily the biggest private equity deal so far this year, easily eclipsing Blackstone’s $5.4 billion acquisition of auto-parts maker Gates Global.

The seemingly high price tag should be well worth it in the long run.  The pet supply market has proved to be strongly recession-proof.  At the height of the recession, studies found that many pet owners refused to cut back on purchases for their pets, even as many reduced household costs involving the human members of their families, including spending on food.  Thus many non-specialty retailers have increased store space for pet-related products.  These prominently include big box discounters, grocers, dollar stores and notably hardware stores and drug chains.

As PetSmart officially changed ownership and went private, the company also made a leadership move.  The retailer has named Michael J. Massey as its President and CEO.  Massey replaced David Lenhardt, who stepped down upon the closing of private equity firm BC Partners’s acquisition of the pet supplies retailer.