BRIDGEPOINT, the private equity owner of the UK’s biggest retailer of pet products, Pets At Home, yesterday played down reports it is planning a £700m stock market flotation for the business.<br /><br />Bridgepoint was said to have held talks with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Cazenove, NM Rothschild and BOA Merrill Lynch about timing, valuation and investor appetite. But yesterday a spokesman told City A.M. the “timing would rely on the recession ending, and who knows when that will be. This rumour is very premature.”<br /><br />He added: “There have been no banks appointed, no decisions on timing, or method of entrance. The banks are working hard to look busy, and that’s about it. We’re doing extremely well, and will naturally attract interest.”<br /><br />Pets At Home has been a retail star during the downturn reporting a 29 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to nearly £40m. The pet market is tipped to reach more than £4.2bn by next year.<br /><br />Bridgepoint bought the chain for £230m in 2004 but it has been refinanced four times since, generating more than £120m in cash for its investors already.