Warren criticizes PetSmart’s $14 billion SPAC plans
Senator Elizabeth Warren has criticized plans to take PetSmart public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), saying the proposed $14 billion deal underscores concerns about the retailer and SPACs themselves.
As Bloomberg reported Monday, Feb. 7, PetSmart owners BC Partners want to take the pet supplies company public with a black check company backed by private equity firm KKR & Co.
Warren had previously criticized BC Partners’ ownership of PetSmart in light of a report by advocacy group United for Respect, which said safety and working conditions had declined under BC’s leadership.
“BC Partners’ failure to provide answers about how PetSmart treats its workers and the pets in their care has heightened my concerns about the private equity firm’s disregard for worker safety as it seeks ever-higher profits,” Warren said in a Monday. declaration. “In light of recent reports that a private equity-backed SPAC is considering buying PetSmart, I remain concerned that workers will once again be screwed in this deal.”
Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) had written to BC Partners President Raymond Svider in early November seeking information about the treatment of workers and pets.
Svider responded Nov. 19, Bloomberg said, saying “PetSmart has always placed the highest importance on the health and safety of its associates,” and adding that the company had spent more than $178 million on bonuses, higher salaries and other benefits since the start of the pandemic. , and had installed new safety protocols at its boarding and grooming facilities.
“The truth is, PetSmart’s standards of pet care have never been higher and PetSmart continues to raise the bar,” Svider said.
Read more: Senator Warren and others seek information from SPACs
Last year, Warren and three other Senate Democrats wrote to some of the most prominent negotiators in the SPAC space to seek more transparency about the practice.
“We are seeking information about your use of SPACs to understand what type of congressional or regulatory action may be needed to better protect investors,” the senators wrote, saying there had been “a material malfunction of the market” because of SPACs, with the creation and operation of them maneuvered to “win even when investors lose”.