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Chewy Executives Concerned Over ‘Roaring Kitty’s’ Investment In Pet-Product Retailer

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Stock influencer Keith Gill, known as “Roaring Kitty,” revealed a 6.6% stake in Chewy (CHWY.N) on Monday, a surprising move that alarmed executives at the U.S. pet products company.

This is Gill’s first known investment beyond GameStop. The link between these investments is Ryan Cohen, the billionaire founder of Chewy, who is now the CEO of GameStop. Gill has previously praised Cohen in his social media posts. Cohen founded Chewy and sold it in 2017.

In 2021, Gill sent GameStop (GME.N) shares soaring with a series of social media posts that drew a flood of retail money into the company. Its shares have fluctuated wildly since Gill resurfaced online in May after a three-year hiatus.

Gill’s investment raised concerns among Chewy’s top executives about asset managers who are shareholders potentially being put off by the ensuing volatility in the stock fueled by Gill’s army of individual investors, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking.

Chewy’s executives and board have not spoken to Gill, the source added. Shares in the pet supplies retailer rose as high as $30 on Monday but reversed those gains in volatile trading. They were last down 4.8% at $25.92, with more than 54 million shares trading hands, more than three times the 25-day moving average volumes.

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed Gill bought 9 million shares of Chewy worth about $245 million at the stock’s Friday closing price of $27.24, making him Chewy’s third-largest shareholder, according to LSEG data.

It is unclear if Gill liquidated any of his position in GameStop, which he disclosed on June 13 to be 9 million shares worth around $262.1 million at the time, to fund the Chewy stake. GameStop’s shares dropped 6% on Monday but have gained 33% so far this year.

The SEC, Chewy, and Gill did not respond to requests for comment.

While Gill has historically revealed his holdings through social media posts, he was required to file with the SEC in the case of Chewy because his investment exceeded 5% of the company’s outstanding shares.

The SEC filing indicates Gill purchased the Chewy stake on June 24, three days before he posted a picture of a puppy on social media platform X, which briefly sent Chewy shares to a near one-year high and also boosted shares in Petco and Wag.

Separately, GameStop investors sued Gill on Friday, alleging he engaged in a “pump-and-dump” scheme that cost them money. Gill has denied past claims that he talked up the stock for his own gain, arguing that he was “abundantly clear” that his aggressive investing style was unsuitable for most people.

The Massachusetts securities regulator is probing Gill’s trading activities in GameStop, as previously reported by Reuters and other media outlets.

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