PetSmart to Acquire Online Pet Retailer Chewy
PetSmart, Inc., has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Chewy, Inc., the online pet retailer.
The combination of PetSmart and Chewy will enhance both companies’ capabilities and reach, offering the widest selection of pet products and services available both in-store and online in North America, according PetSmart. The acquisition, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of PetSmart’s second fiscal quarter of 2017.
Chewy is one of the leading online retailers of pet products and has seen extraordinary growth since it was founded by Ryan Cohen and Michael Day in 2011. Chewy’s position in the growing, underpenetrated online pet retail segment complements PetSmart’s strong footprint in brick and mortar, with more than 1,500 stores and 55,000 dedicated associates across North America. Chewy’s extensive product selection and subscription model have attracted and retained a significant customer base that has contributed to the growth of customer purchasing through online channels.
Upon closing, Chewy will continue to be led by CEO Cohen and operate largely as an independent subsidiary of PetSmart, focusing on its current business strategy. PetSmart will continue to execute its strategic initiatives across the combined company.
Financial advisors to PetSmart on this transaction were Citi and Barclays, with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acting as its legal advisor. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Barclays also provided committed financing for the acquisition. Equity financing is being provided by PetSmart’s existing shareholders. The financial advisor to Chewy on this transaction was Allen & Company, with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acting as its legal advisor.
Amazon Adds New Feature to Help Parents, Kids Connect Through FreeTime
Amazon has added Discussion Cards, a new feature for its Amazon FreeTime service to offer a new way for parents and kids to connect over digital content. With Discussion Cards, parents can easily familiarize themselves with the FreeTime content their kids are viewing, such as books, videos, educational apps, and games, to encourage discussion and engagement with their kids.
Discussion Cards are found within the new Parent Dashboard, a mobile-optimized website that also provides daily activity reports to help parents review the digital content their kids are using in FreeTime and determine how to manage time limits and educational goals. Parent Dashboard is available at http://parents.amazon.com. FreeTime is available as a free app or as a paid subscription option, Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which offers unlimited access to popular content from Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS Kids, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and more. Discussion Cards are already available for thousands of the most popular titles, with more cards being added every day.
Marvel Launches Global #GrootDancebomb Challenge in Honor of Earth Month
Marvel announced the global #GrootDancebomb challenge in coordination with the Disney Conservation Fund to support forest restoration through The Nature Conservancy.
Marvel gave YouTube super star Dominic “D-trix” Sandoval an early look at Groot and the new dancing toy line, and challenged him to create a Groot-inspired dance move to surprise unsuspecting fans. Marvel is now calling for fans to support the #GrootDancebomb Earth Month challenge by busting out a signature Groot move at an expected moment, using a dancing Groot toy to surprise someone, or liking or sharing Marvel’s video starring D-trix.
From April 18-May 5, Marvel and the Disney Conservation Fund will direct a $1 donation to The Nature Conservancy to plant one tree for each like or share of the video on YouTube or Facebook or a post using #GrootDancebomb on Instagram or Twitter. The campaign’s goal is to help plant up to a quarter of a million trees for a minimum donation of $50,000 and a maximum of $250,000.
“Groot was one of the break-out characters from Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, and has quickly become a fan favorite,” said Josh Silverman, Executive Vice President, Global Licensing, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “As we launch the toy line for the new movie, we’re excited to share the #GrootDancebomb challenge combining a little bit of fun and a little bit of doing good— just like the Guardians themselves.”