December 13, 1999 5:15 AM PST
Pets.com to play in public market
The San Francisco-based online retailer of pet products said it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its common stock.
Pets.com is caught in a tooth-and-claw battle against other online pet product retailers with still no clear top dog in the market.
Competitors include Petstore.com, Petopia and Petsmart.com--all backed by industry heavyweights. Petstore.com has funding from Advanced Technology Ventures and Discovery Communications, the owners of the Animal Planet cable network. Petopia has an alliance with pet supply company Petco, and Petsmart.com is a joint venture between Internet incubator Idealab and offline pet giant Petsmart.
In its regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company declined to specify the number of shares it plans to sell and to give a pricing range for those shares. For the purpose of determining a filing fee, the company said that it plans to raise up to $100 million.
For the quarter ended September 30, Pets.com lost $15.9 million on $568,000 in revenue, according to the filing. Since its inception in February of this year, the company has lost $19.4 million on $619,000 in revenue.
The company has had negative gross margins in both the latest quarter and in its overall operating history. For the third quarter, Pets.com's net sales before operating expenses amounted to a $1.2 million loss. Since inception the company's top line is $1.22 million in the red.
According to the filing, Amazon.com owns 43 percent of Pets.com. Venture capital firms Hummer Winblad Partners and Bowman Capital Management own 22.4 and 6.6 percent of the company, respectively. Pets.com founder Greg McLemore, who owns Internet incubator Web Magic, owns 7.2 percent of the company.
Merrill Lynch will act as the lead manager of the offering, with Bear Stearns, Thomas Weisel Partners and Warburg Dillon Read as the co-managing underwriters of the offering.
News.com's Troy Wolverton contributed to this report.