The owner of furniture specialist DFS is mulling a stock market flotation that could value the retailer at £1bn.

DFS’ private equity backer, Advent, is poised to hire advisers in the next few weeks to prepare for a float, The Sunday Times reported.

The 98-store retailer is forecast to be valued at between £800m and £1bn. The float is expected to happen next year.

Advent International bought DFS from founder Lord Kirkham three years ago for £590m.

Advent says of DFS on its website: “The business operates in a sector which has been difficult for some retailers, but the company’s relative size, own-manufacturing capabilities and reputation as market leader has allowed it to perform well and gain market share since the downturn in 2008.”

Earlier this year, DFS launched a new compact store format to allow it to expand in small towns after profits rose.