Jan 21, 2022 - Economy & Business

PetSmart in talks to go public via KKR-sponsored SPAC

Illustration of dog treats in the shape of a dollar sign.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

PetSmart, the Phoenix-based pet supplies retailer owned by BC Partners, is in talks to go public via a KKR-sponsored SPAC, at around a $14 billion implied valuation, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: BC Partners may be pulling a rabbit out of its in-store cage. The firm's $8.7 billion buyout of PetSmart in 2015, and debt-laden $3.4 billion add-on of DTC retailer Chewy, looked too clever by half — as the tie-up failed strategically and subsequent recap efforts caused lenders to cry fraud. But now Chewy is public with a $17 billion market cap and PetSmart may have a buyer.

The bottom line: "Despite a rocky period that saw the buyout debt fall to distressed levels, the companies’ fortunes rebounded amid growing spending on pets and pet care," Bloomberg writes.

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