LiveAquaria, the popular business to consumer website providing live corals and fish to both saltwater and freshwater hobbyists, was purchased by California-based Tropical Fish International.
Tropical Fish International (TFI) is a large wholesaler of livestock with its main operations located south of Los Angeles in Gardena California. Tropical Fish International competitors include Sea Dwelling Creations and Quality Marine. TFI owns and operates their own freshwater farms in Thailand and Sri Lanka and operates marine collection facilities in Sri Lanka, Maldives and the Red Sea.
The new group LiveAquaria Holding Corp is said to be majority controlled by TFI according to documents obtained by Reef Builders. Petco has confirmed the move in a statement to Reef Builders:
To further streamline Petco’s ecommerce operations, and better focus on our core business and customer amid shifting consumer preferences, we sold our LiveAquaria business to an independent aquatics company for an undisclosed amount in July 2020. Every one of the approximately 60 employees involved in the transition was notified and offered the opportunity to retain employment with LiveAquaria under the new ownership.
TFI is best known for supplying a large portion of freshwater fish to local retailers along with larger online providers and has been around for many years headed up by Charitha (Sam) Samarasinghe. Tropical Fish International is just one part of the equation as the holding group has representation in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Australia, UK, Europe, Fiji, and most recently China.
Of the most interest though is how the new LiveAquaria deal will affect local retailers who rely on TFI to supply their store but now are in competition with LiveAquaria. TFI did not immediately return requests for comment.