Petco has filed to go public as consumers adopt more pets during the pandemic

  • Petco Health and Wellness wants to be publicly traded again, this time on the Nasdaq with the ticker "WOOF."
  • The coronavirus pandemic led to a spike in the number of pets being adopted this year, driving demand for pet care supplies.
  • Petco's same-store sales have risen 9.6% so far this year, but it reported a net loss attributable to members of $20.3 million for the first ten months of the year.

Petco Health and Wellness has filed an S-1 for an initial public offering as consumer spending on pets rises during the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer has not yet shared the number of shares available or the pricing for its IPO. It plans to be listed on the Nasdaq with the ticker "WOOF."

The company noted in its filing that the number of households with pets is expected to increase by 4% this year alone, driven by the pandemic. The jump in pet owners creates $4 billion in new demand for pet care products.

Chewy, the online business for PetSmart that went public more than a year ago, has seen its shares rise more than 150% so far this year, to a market value of $30.3 billion.

In the ten months ended Oct. 31, 2020, Petco's net sales rose 9% to $3.58 billion compared with the same time a year ago. Same-store sales have jumped 9.6% so far this year.

Petco is also improving its profitability after reporting net losses in 2018 and 2019. In the first ten months of 2020, the company reported a net loss attributable to members of just $20.3 million, narrowing its losses compared with the same time a year ago by 77%.

Over the last three years, after its same-store sales turned negative, Petco invested $300 million to modernize its business, including building an e-commerce site and launching a full-service veterinary hospital network.

Five years ago, Petco nearly went public but was instead acquired by private equity firms  CVC Capital Partners and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board for $4.6 billion. The company, which was founded in 1965, was last publicly traded in 2006.

Read the full S-1 filing here.

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