Chewy Raises $1B In Upsized IPO

Stewie the Yorkie Chihuahua is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the IPO for Chewy Inc. in New York City U.S

The company sold 46.5 million shares at $22 each-significantly higher than the original $17-$19 target price range that was set in the original registration statement it filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in April. The shares are expected to begin trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CHWY.

The Chewy site, started in 2011, logged sales of $3.53 billion for the year ended February 3, up from $2.1 billion from the previous fiscal year, according to the company's prospectus.

For 2018, Chewy reported net sales of $3.53 billion, up about 68% from $2.104 billion in 2017. The initial public offering of more than 5.6 million shares of Class A common stock was priced between $19 and $21 per share.

PetSmart bought Chewy for an eye-popping $3.35 billion in 2017. Around 90% of dog owners and 86% of cat owners consider their pets to be part of their family, according to 2018 data from the market research firm Packaged Facts.

Chewy's IPO should give some financial relief to PetSmart, which is saddled with more than $8 billion of debt due over the next six years. The shares closed up 59% to $34.99, giving the company a market value of about $13.95 billion.

The Dania Beach, Florida-based company says most of its sales comes from shoppers who have signed up for automatic shipments of their pet supplies, giving Chewy a steady stream of revenue and time to plan shipments from its seven warehouses around the country.

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And pets are more pampered: Americans spent $72.6 billion on their furry pals previous year, more than triple the amount spent two decades ago, according to the American Pet Products Association.

"Pet parents" continue to spend even in times of economic uncertainty.

Ryan Cohen, the co-founder of Chewy, said he believed the company had the potential for growth.

The public offering follows a heated dispute between PetSmart and its creditors over the transfer of Chewy assets ahead of the IPO.

Chewy is growing rapidly, despite competitive threats from Amazon as well as food giant General Mills - which recently acquired pet food seller Blue Buffalo.

Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Allen & Co and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are leading the 12-member underwriting team.

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