Petco Said to Approach Private-Equity Buyers Alongside IPO Plans

  • Pet-supplies retailer may attract interest from KKR, others
  • Company still working with advisers on stock market listing

Petco Animal Supplies Inc. has reached out to private-equity firms that may be interested in buying the pet-supplies retailer, even as it prepares for an initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company, which is backed by TPG and Leonard Green & Partners, has approached KKR & Co. about a potential sale that may value the company at about $3 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. Petco may also attract interest from other private-equity firms, they said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are working on the planned IPO, people familiar with the process said last month. Credit Suisse Group AG, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG and Wells Fargo & Co. will also manage the offering, the people said. Petco is looking to raise about $800 million as soon as this year, they said.

Petco is in the early stages of exploring a sale alongside its IPO preparations and plans to meet potential buyers including Carlyle Group and KKR, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Representatives for Carlyle, KKR and San Diego-based Petco declined to comment.

Petco started in 1965 as a mail-order company for veterinary supplies. In 1994 it went public for the first time, before being acquired by TPG and Leonard Green in 2000 for $600 million. The private-equity firms took Petco public in 2002 and acquired it again in 2006.

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