Petco has confidentially submitted a proposed IPO to the SEC. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined, and the IPO is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process.
Petco has reportedly been exploring a sale or IPO that could be valued at as much as $6 billion since September, according to Bloomberg. The retailer’s offerings include a digital health service known as PetCoach that lets shoppers connect with veterinarians any time of day or night.
The move in stark contrast to competing pet retailer Pet Valu, which will shutter all 358 U.S. stores after its operations were severely impacted by COVID-19. Pet Valu Canada, which is a separate company, will not be affected by the U.S. retailer’s wind-down.
Pet food sales, like grocery, saw significant gains during the early stages of the pandemic: in-store retail sales were up 26% and ecommerce sales were up 77% in March, according to data from Nielsen. However, dollar sales dropped 40% from the third week of March to the fourth week, although they slowly recovered through June and into the summer. Wet food and treat sales were up 7.9% and 9.5% year-over-year in the four weeks ending Aug. 8, according to Pet Food Industry.