Bridgepoint has appointed bankers to prepare a US listing for Pret A Manger, according to reports.

The Financial Times yesterday reported that JP Morgan and Jefferies had been appointed to lead an initial public offering that could take place in New York before the end of the year.

The paper said Credit Suisse, Barclays and Piper Jaffray are also working on the deal.

The appointment apparently took place recently and terms between Bridgepoint, the company and bankers are under negotiation. The FT quotes a source as saying: “Nothing has been decided on anything, there is now a lot of research and prep work to be done.”

JP Morgan declined to comment.

Bridgepoint said: “As a committed shareholder in Pret we are always exploring appropriate opportunities to ensure the future growth of the company. If such opportunities materialise, we will update the market.”

MCA approached Pret but the company said it did comment on market rumours.

Last month chief executive Clive Schlee told MCA: “I’m flattered that Pret would be considered a worthy entrant to the US stock market but Bridgepoint have been a very supportive backer to us for a long time and they are committed to our long-term plans.”