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Petco Announces IPO Filing After Mulling Sale

Petco Animal Supplies announced that it has confidentially filed for an initial public offering (IPO) pending a review from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to a company statement on Thursday (Nov. 5).

The San Diego-based retail chain provided few details about the filing. It is unknown how many shares will be offered or the expected price range. CVC Capital Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Petco’s owners, could be looking for a $6 billion valuation, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

Petco was acquired in 2016 by private equity investors CVC and CPPIB for $4.6 billion from Leonard Green Partners and Texas Pacific Group (TPG). Petco was a public company but was taken private twice by TPG and Leonard Green.

Petco was founded in 1965 as a mail order company in San Diego and soon after opened its first store in Alaska, according to its website. Today, Petco has over 1,500 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico.

In September, Petco was considering a buyout that was estimated to net about $6 billion. Headed by chief executive officer Ron Coughlin, Petco offers pet supplies, vaccinations, veterinary health and a digital health service called PetCoach.

The pandemic has been good for pet food sales, with dog food up 54 percent and cat food up 52 percent. Sales of pet supplies went up 24 percent. Most of the buying frenzy was in response to shortage fears as everyday necessities like toilet paper vanished over shelves across the country. Petco’s in-store veterinary hospitals have more than doubled in the past 12 months.

Petco remained open during the pandemic because it accounts for almost 33 percent of all dog and cat food sales and half of sales of fish and other pet food, the company said.

Earlier this month, Petco announced a new service called Vital Care that is part subscription plan, part health insurance for pets. The annual plan gives pet owners a variety of routine wellness options.

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