Petco prices IPO above target range to raise $816 million

(Reuters) – Pet retailer Petco Health and Wellness Company Inc said on Wednesday it sold shares in its initial public offering (IPO) at $18 apiece, above its target range, to raise about $816.5 million.

FILE PHOTO: A Petco store logo is pictured on a building in North Miami, Florida March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Petco, which is owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, had aimed to sell 48 million shares at a target range of $14 to $17 per share.

The IPO, which values Petco at almost $4 billion, signals that investor appetite for new stocks remains robust following a stellar 2020, which was the strongest IPO market in two decades.

Earlier in the day, shares of online lender Affirm Holdings Inc doubled in their Nasdaq debut after selling shares in its IPO above the company’s target range.

The U.S. pet industry is seen by analysts as being more resistant to economic shocks than the broader economy and has benefited during the COVID-19 pandemic from an increase in pet adoption.

Rival online pet products retailer Chewy Inc has seen its stock rise more than 100% in the last six months. Barkbox, a provider of subscription boxes of dog treats, last month agreed to go public through a merger with Northern Star Acquisition Corp.

San Diego, California-based Petco operates about 1,470 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico and has more than 100 in-store veterinary hospitals.

Founded in 1965, Petco was acquired CPP Investments and CVC Capital Partners in 2015 for about $4.7 billion. Petco reported net sales of $3.6 billion and net loss of $20.3 million in the 39 weeks ended Oct. 31 last year.

Petco shares are due to begin trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday under the symbol “WOOF.”

Goldman Sachs, and BofA Securities are the lead underwriters for the IPO.

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