PetSmart investor Longview joins shareholder push for sale

Mon Jul 7, 2014 9:05pm EDT

Jasmine Dugas blow dries a dog after it was bathed at a PetSmart PetsHotel and Doggie Day Camp in Los Angeles, California, May 14, 2012.  REUTERS/David McNew

Jasmine Dugas blow dries a dog after it was bathed at a PetSmart PetsHotel and Doggie Day Camp in Los Angeles, California, May 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/David McNew

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(Reuters) - Longview Asset Management LLC became the latest PetSmart Inc (PETM.O) shareholder calling for the company's board to consider selling itself, even as the retailer said on Monday it was reviewing potential changes in its capital structure.

The pressure from Longview comes days after activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC, PetSmart's largest shareholder with a 9.9 percent stake, said it planned to ask the pet products retailer to explore a sale.

Longview Asset Management, which also holds 9 percent of PetSmart's shares, said it had previously discussed its "concerns" with the company. (1.usa.gov/1thoqGp)

The company said on Monday it was evaluating changes, with a focus on returning capital to shareholders, after reporting its first drop in quarterly same store sales in seven years for the quarter ended May 4.

PetSmart's sales have suffered due to its aging store base and growing competition from online retailers.

Brokerage Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to "equal-weight" from "underweight" on Monday, saying a potential merger with privately held Petco represented "the greatest source of upside."

(Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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