Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), the American private equity firm, is buying British retailer Pets at Home in a deal worth £955 million, including debt. The overall £955 million price is likely to generate a handsome return for Bridgepoint, which bought 'Pets at Home' for about £230 million in 2004.
Analysts say that the higher-than-expected price could stimulate assumption that other companies considering sales like fashion retailers New Look and SuperGroup and online grocer Ocado, might also opt for a private equity deal rather than an initial public offering.
Matt Davies, the chief executive at Pets at Home considered KKR's move was a "resounding endorsement of our success to date".
"We are enthusiastic about the significant further potential for Pets at Home to grow, develop and continue to deliver its unmatched breadth of products, store environment, competitive pricing and customer service", John Pfeffer, European head of retail for KKR, said.
KKR ensured that Pets at Home's rapid growth of recent years will be continued, as it has seen it expand into grooming and veterinary services. Pets at Home, employs 4,200 and was founded in 1991. Since it was bought by Bridgepoint, it has been growing by about 20 new outlets a year which has doubled its outlets. Its 54 vet centers are also functional.