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Friday, February 23, 2024
Feb. 23, 2024

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Seattle pet-care platform Rover agrees to be acquired for $2.3B


SEATTLE — Pet marketplace firm Rover agreed to be acquired by private equity giant Blackstone for $2.3 billion, the companies said Wednesday. Rover’s stockholders will receive $11 per share in cash.

The all-cash acquisition will enable Rover to accelerate investment priorities, expand its global footprint and fuel expansion initiatives, Seattle-based Rover said in a statement Wednesday. Besides the U.S., Rover operates in Canada and Europe.

“Blackstone brings deep expertise in partnering with innovative technology companies,” said Aaron Easterly, co-founder and CEO of Rover. “This transaction delivers immediate and compelling value to Rover stockholders.”

Founded in 2011, Rover rapidly grew its business after acquiring California-based DogVacay in 2017 and DogBuddy in 2018. The company now bills itself as the world’s largest online marketplace for pet care. Its online platform connects pet owners with providers who offer a variety of pet-care services, including boarding, in-home pet sitting and dog walking.

Rover became a public company in July 2021 after a merger with Nebula Caravel Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company. At the time, the deal valued Rover at $1.35 billion. Rover will become a private company after the Blackstone transaction closes.

Rover’s stock increased 27% from Tuesday’s close to Wednesday after closing following the deal announcement. The company’s valuation was at $1.97 billion on Wednesday afternoon.

In its third-quarter earnings announced earlier this month, Rover reported $66 million in revenue, a 30% increase compared to the same period a year ago. Rover said it anticipated full-year 2023 revenues between $230 to $232 million, an increase of 33% from the previous year.

The company credited the growth in third-quarter revenue to a rise in bookings of existing and new customers. Total bookings increased 20% in the quarter. Rover estimates that the U.S. has 87 million pet-owning households.

“The growth we’re seeing is really a testament to how well the business can work, especially as it scales,” Easterly told investors during the earnings call.

In a statement Wednesday, Tushar Gupta, a Blackstone principal, said Rover has “a significant runway for growth as pet owners increasingly place a premium on high-quality care, flexibility and convenience.”

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024. It is subject to regulatory clearances and Rover’s stockholders’ approval.