Four private equity firms have each submitted offers of more than £800m for specialist retailer Pets at Home.

The business is being prepared for a sale or float in the new year by owner Bridgepoint.

Apax, Bain, KKR and TPG are all interested in acquiring Pets at Home, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The retailer appointed JP Morgan Cazenove to advise on options in October, and a ‘dual-track’ process – which could result either in an IPO or sale – is under way.

The store group has been one of the retail winners during the recession as shoppers proved reluctant to rein in spending on their pets. Last year Pets at Home’s profits rose by 29%.

Bridgepoint bought Pets at Home for £230m in 2004. The business has since been refinanced four times, generating more than £120m for investors.