PetSmart sold its State Line Tack equine assets to Pets United, a privately held holding company for a multichannel merchant of pet and equine products. The sale, which closed Sunday, includes the State Line Tack brand, inventory, customer lists, and certain assets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Phoenix-based PetSmart in February announced it would exit the equine business, which represented just 2% of its $4.23 billion in sales last year. Along with a menagerie of Websites, which include Dog.com, Fish.com, and Horse.com, Pets United mails nearly 15 million copies annually of its three print catalogs: Country Supply, specializing in equine products; Dog.com; and Petstockroom, which sells bird supplies. Pets United plans to move the State Line Tack online and catalog business from Brockport, NY, to its Hazelton, PA-based facility in the next 60 days.
Fred Anderson, president of South Orange, NJ-based catalog intermediary Anderson Direct, who along with Gruppo, Levy & Co. advised Pets United on the deal, calls the move a strategic one for Pets United. “State Line is the trophy brand name in the equine business,” Anderson notes. “With their Country Supply title as a leader in the Western horse market and State Line having strong footing on the English market, Pets United will be one of the pre-eminent equine suppliers.” Anderson said he was unsure if Dover Saddlery, which had been rumored to make a bid for State Line, made an offer.
PetSmart now will pursue opportunities to sell the 396,000-sq. ft. Brockport facility, which includes a warehouse, call center, and store located on approximately 32 acres of land. Call center and fulfillment operations for the Petsmart Website will move to an outside e-commerce provider by Sept. 1, and the State Line Tack store will close Aug. 25. About 240 associates who work at the Brockport distribution center and call center will be laid off in stages over the next six months as the company phases out operations.