Pet Valu Holdings Ltd., one of Canada's largest pet food and accessory stores, is going public again amid a pandemic-driven boom in pet ownership.
The company filed a preliminary prospectus late Tuesday announcing it has applied to list its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange in a move aimed at reducing its debt load, while also aggressively looking to double its store count over the next two decades.
As is typical for a preliminary prospectus, the company did not disclose how many shares it is looking to sell, nor did it set a price range for the public offering.
Since its founding in 1976, Pet Valu has grown to more than 600 corporate-and-franchise-owned stores across Canada, along with 1,815 staff that work under several company banners including Pet Valu, Bosley's, Total Pet, and Tisol.  The company said in a filing that it sees a "significant opportunity" to grow its store base to 1,200 locations over the next 15 to 20 years.
Pet Valu said in its prospectus it reported $648 million in revenue in 2020, an increase from $574 million the prior year. Pet Valu booked $29 million in net income last year, a four per cent increase from a year earlier. The company also said it has averaged 10 per cent same-store-sales growth over the past five years.
Pet Valu said it also counts 1.4 million people as part of its loyalty program. People who are part of the company's loyalty program buy 72 per cent more at the register than those who aren't part of that program.
Those customers are largely part of the cohort Pet Valu describes as engaged in the "increasing humanization of pets" where a healthy 83 per cent of Canadians consider their pets part of the family. Canadian spending on pet care grew at a steady six per cent compound growth rate between 1994 to 2016, but has recently increased 10 per cent to $10.6 billion annually, Pet Valu said. The company has taken advantage of that increase by offering more non-discretionary services such as self-serve dog washes and full-service grooming salons.
This will be Pet Valu's second time tapping public markets after it was taken over by Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, in 2009 for about $144 million. The company's public offering is underwritten by Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays Capital Canada Inc., and CIBC World Markets Inc.