Jun 9, 2019

PetSmart's unprofitable online pet store Chewy to go public this week

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chewy is going public this week, carrying a valuation of about $7 billion, roughly twice what the company sold for in 2017. It too has a special class of shares. Its largest shareholder, BC Partners, will control 98.8% of the votes after the offering is over.

Between the lines: Chewy has never turned a profit, and it burned through $63.3 million of cash in the quarter ending on May 5. At that rate, the $101 million it plans to raise in the IPO will last just 21 weeks.

  • After 13 weeks, BC Partners will be free to sell the rest of its Chewy shares, after unloading shares worth $650 million at the IPO. The private equity shop could reduce its stake to as low as 10% while still retaining control of the company.
  • Chewy's super-voting shares aren't held by visionary founders with a long-term time horizon. Rather, they're held by a private-equity shop with a fiduciary obligation to liquidate its holdings and return the maximum amount of cash to its investors.

The bottom line: Chewy's parent, PetSmart, has more than $8 billion of debt and is under enormous pressure to pay it down. It's therefore reasonable to expect large future sales of Chewy stock. What's less clear is how Chewy can continue to invest in growth without raising substantial debt of its own. Per Chewy's revised S-1, the company has already lined up a $300 million credit line.

Flashback: The degraded stock market through the eyes of a pet food IPO

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,596,496 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 462,135 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  6. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  7. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  8. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return to the air this weekend with a remotely produced episode.
  9. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy