Thu, Feb 08, 2001 EST
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Petopia.com Withdraws IPO, Ends Business
Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO — Dig another grave in the dot-com pet cemetery.

Petopia.com, which sold most of its assets to Petco Animal Supplies Inc. in December, filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday to cancel its $100 million initial public offering and announce it's no longer doing business.

Dubbed the "Internet Pet Paradise," Petopia marketed itself as the destination for pet lovers when it launched in August 1999. It offered food, grooming and health care products for furry friends, fish and other animals.

Petopia announced a number of strategic relationships and partners, including deals with NBC, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and America Online.

Petopia also had an exclusive agreement with Petco, an original investor in the start-up. Now, the Petopia.com Web address points to Petco.com.

"It's being operated as a subsidiary to Petco but is basically part of Petco," said Jim Myers, Petco's chief financial officer. "It no longer has a separate identity."

Petopia laid off about 60 percent of its work force in October. Some remaining employees moved to San Diego to work on Petco's online operation, Myers said.

Petco's major online competitor is now PetsMart.com, the virtual division of the PetsMart bricks-and-mortar retailer. PetsMart recently acquired the Web site address and other parts of Pets.com, which became one of the highest-profile dot-com flops when it ceased operations late last year.

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