Buyout Firms Bid for UK’s Pets at Home

LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) – At least seven private equity firms have submitted bids for Pets at Home, increasing the likelihood of a sale of the UK retailer rather than an initial public offering (IPO), sources familiar with the matter said.

The sources said Apax Partners, Bain Capital, Blackstone (BX.N), Charterhouse, Cinven, KKR and TPG Capital all submitted first-round bids for the company, owned by mid-market private equity shop Bridgepoint.

Pets at Home is valued at 700 million pounds ($1.13 billion) or more, the sources said. It has been running a dual track process, working on both a London stock-market listing and a sale of the business.

Bridgepoint declined to comment. The other private equity firms either declined to comment or were unavailable for comment.

($1=.6170 Pound)

By Simon Meads and Quentin Webb
(editing by Alex Chambers)