November 20, 2014 / 9:55 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Jana Partners lines up 5 executives to serve on PetSmart board -filing

(Changes sourcing and adds company background)

By Nadia Damouni and Olivia Oran

Nov 20 (Reuters) - Jana Partners LLC has lined up five executives who are willing to serve as directors on PetSmart Inc’s board if the activist hedge fund is not satisfied with the outcome of the pet food retailer’s strategic review, the fund said in a filing on Thursday.

Jana, which has a 9.8 percent stake in PetSmart, may nominate former Caremark executive Edwin “Mac” Crawford; former RadioShack Corp Chief Executive Officer Julian Day; former Harris Teeter CEO Thomas Dickson; One Kings Lane co-founder Susan Feldman; and former Wal-Mart Stores Inc executive Lawrence Jackson. Jana could also nominate a representative from its own fund, people familiar with the matter said.

Jana Partners declined to comment.

Reuters had reported earlier this week that Jana was likely to nominate a slate of directors for PetSmart.

PetSmart said in August it would explore a potential sale of the company amid pressure from Jana and other investors, including Longview Asset Management Ltd, which holds a 9 percent stake. The board is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co on the auction. A deal for PetSmart would likely represent the biggest leveraged buyout of the year.

Private equity firms KKR & Co LP and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC are planning to submit a joint bid for PetSmart, Reuters reported earlier this week.

Apollo Global Management LLC and BC Partners Ltd are also separately considering offers, the people familiar with the matter added.

PetSmart released third-quarter results on Tuesday that showed net sales rose 2.6 percent from the year-before quarter. It also said it plans to reduce costs by $200 million over the next two years.

Petsmart shares have climbed 7.4 percent year-to-date, though some analysts have speculated the rise may be due to expectations of a buyout. (Reporting by Nadia Damouni and Olivia Oran; editing by Chris Reese; and Peter Galloway)

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