Petopia shutters

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Online pet products retailer, whose major backers include Petco Animal Supplies and the NBC television network, withdrew on Feb. 2 its plans to go public, saying it has sold nearly all of its assets and no longer is open for business. Petopia announced it is withdrawing a $100 million initial public offering in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission; it was planning to use the net proceeds to repay $2 million in debt as well as for general corporate purposes, including marketing expansion and brand-building efforts. Petco held a 20% equity stake in Petopia. The two companies had agreed that Petco could not sell pet items online and Petopia could not partner with another offline pet retailer. It also had an on-air advertising agreement with NBC. Petopia's $15 million to $20 million ad account was handled by Swirl, San Francisco.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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