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Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

BC Partners plans to disentangle pet supplies retailer PetSmart from online rival Chewy, via a recapitalization plan.

Why it matters: This reflects PetSmart's improved performance, driven largely by increased pet adoptions during the pandemic. It's also a tacit admission by BC Partners that its original investment thesis was flawed.

  • BC bought Chewy in 2017, in part by piling new debt onto existing portfolio company PetSmart, and then took Chewy public in mid-2019 while retaining almost total voting control.
  • PetSmart would be recapped with $1.3 billion in new equity and its $4.65 billion of debt would be refinanced (with pro forma leverage decreasing from 3.5x/5,6x to 3.2x/4.2x, per LevFin Insights).
  • Commitments are due next Thursday, although there's no guarantee this deal goes through.

The bottom line, via Bloomberg: "The transaction is likely to be seen more favorably by creditors compared to a 2018 deal in which BC Partners put a portion of Chewy’s equity outside the reach of PetSmart lenders."

  • "They argued that PetSmart was insolvent at the time of the transfer, and that the move was thus fraudulent. PetSmart eventually got a majority of its lenders to approve amendments to their documents to squash the dispute."

Go deeper

8 mins ago - Health

Axios Harris Poll 100: Pfizer, Moderna reputations soar post-vaccine

Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

America's affections have shifted away from the companies that helped us manage pandemic life and toward the vaccine manufacturers that are helping to end it.

Driving the news: Moderna and Pfizer shot up the ranks this year in the Axios/Harris 100, our annual survey of corporate reputations. Moderna is Americans' third-favorite company this year, and Pfizer came in at seventh — up from No. 61 a year ago.

Big Tech's reputation takes a pandemic plunge

Expand chart
Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Americans have fallen further out of love with Big Tech, the latest Axios/Harris 100 brand reputation poll shows.

Why it matters: Even though Americans were hyper-connected to their devices throughout the pandemic, their relationship with many of the world's biggest tech firms has continued on a downward trend, suggesting that people see their products as necessary evils.

There's an ETF for everything, except bitcoin

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Happiness. Weed. Robots. Water. Whatever the theme, there's probably an ETF promoting a basket of stocks related to it.

Why it matters: Thematic ETFs are an investment mania side effect. There's newfound retail investor interest in narrow exposure to hot corners of the stock market. More are launching to meet the moment.