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Petco Files For IPO As Demand For Pets Surges During Pandemic

Petco has set its sights on going public as the demand for pets and related supplies skyrocket amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, CNBC reported.

The Silicon Valley-headquartered company filed an S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday (Dec. 4) for an initial public offering (IPO) for a Nasdaq listing with the ticker “WOOF.” The number of shares and the pricing have not yet been released.

Pets are anticipated to stay popular, with the number of households with pets going up 4 percent in 2020 alone. New pet owners account for about $4 billion in fresh demand for food and accessories. Digital rival Chewy has seen its shares go up in excess of 150 percent this year, with a market value of $30.3 billion. The company filed an IPO last year.

Petco’s net sales went up 9 percent over 2019, hitting $3.58 billion in the 10 months ended Oct. 31. Same-store sales surged 9.6 percent this year. The pet retail chain is also moving towards profitability after net losses the past two years. It has also narrowed its losses by 77 percent to $20.3 million.

Petco has invested $300 million over the past three years to renovate, launch an eCommerce site and implement a full-service veterinary hospital network.

Founded in 1965, Petco was last publicly traded in 2006. In 2015, the company mulled going public again but instead was acquired by CVC Capital Partners and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board for $4.6 billion.

Americans spent $95.6 billion last year on their pets. Petco Chief Digital and Innovation Officer Darren MacDonald told PYMNTS in September that its online growth during the pandemic is “actually representative of a larger shift toward omnichannel shopping.”

Petco was taken private twice by TPG and Leonard Green. The pet retail chain filed last month for an IPO pending an SEC review. It could be looking for a $6 billion valuation.

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