The company has filed an amended S-1 form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, but no terms were given in the filing. Petco has not said what exchange it will file on or what its symbol will be.
Proceeds from the offering will go to the selling stockholders instead of the company. The private equity firms that own it and other investors will retain majority voting power after the initial public offering.
In September, PetSmart said it was exploring the possibility of acquiring Petco Holdings Inc.
The two companies explored a merger possibility in 2014, but PetSmart ruled out a deal with Petco in 2014 in favor of a buyout by private equity consortium led by BC Partners Ltd. for US$8.7 billion. At the time, PetSmart was unsure a deal with Petco would receive antitrust clearance.
If PetSmart and Petco merged, the new company would account for 30% of US pet specialty supplies stores, reports say.
PetSmart and Petco account for 20% of all pet product sales in the US, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts. The two pet retail stores had combined sales of about US$11 billion in 2014 based on Packaged Facts' estimates, with sales of natural pet products an important factor in the strong performances.