By Joshua Franklin (Reuters) – Pet retailer Petco Health and Wellness Company Inc said on Wednesday it sold shares in its initial public offering (IPO) at $ 18 each, above its target range, to raise about $ 816. 5 million dollars. Petco, which is owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, was aiming to sell 48 million shares at a target range of $ 14 to $ 17 per share. . The IPO, which values Petco at nearly $ 4 billion, indicates that investor appetite for new stocks remains strong after a stellar 2020, which was the strongest IPO market in two decades. Hours earlier, online lender Affirm Holdings Inc’s shares doubled on its Nasdaq debut after selling shares in its IPO above the company’s target range. Analysts believe that the US pet industry is more resilient to economic shocks than the broader economy and has benefited during the COVID-19 pandemic from an increase in pet adoption. Rival online pet products retailer Chewy (NYSE 🙂 Inc has seen its shares rise more than 100% in the past six months. Barkbox, a provider of subscription boxes for dog treats, agreed last month to go public through a merger with Northern Star Acquisition Corp. Petco, based in San Diego, California, operates about 1,470 stores in the United States and Puerto Rich and has more than 100 in -Store of veterinary hospitals. Founded in 1965, Petco was acquired by CPP Investments and CVC Capital Partners in 2015 for approximately $ 4.7 billion. Petco reported net sales of $ 3.6 billion and a net loss of $ 20.3 million in the 39 weeks ending October 31 of last year. Petco’s stock is due to begin trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday under the symbol “WOOF.” Goldman Sachs (NYSE 🙂 and BofA Securities are the main underwriters of the IPO.