Town’s gar­den cen­tre part of Tesco’s chain sell-off

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Business Update -

Tesco has sold its Dob­bies gar­den cen­tres for £217 mil­lion.

The com­pany bought Dob­bies in 2007 and it has be­come the UK’s sec­ond largest gar­den cen­tre re­tailer.

It has 35 shops across Eng­land, Scot­land and Northern Ireland, in­clud­ing those at the Eureka Leisure Park in Ash­ford and off Bowa­ters round­about in Gilling­ham.

The cen­tres made a £17 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion to Tesco’s pre­tax prof­its in the year to Fe­bru­ary and has gross as­sets of £255 mil­lion.

The sale to an in­vestor group led by Mid­loth­ian Cap­i­tal Part­ners and Hat­ting­ton Cap­i­tal comes as Tesco con­tin­ues to fo­cus on its su­per­mar­ket ac­tiv­i­ties.

It comes a week af­ter it an­nounced it is of­fload­ing restau­rant chain Gi­raffe and its Turk­ish busi­ness.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Dave Lewis said: “Through their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to cus­tomer ser­vice, Dob­bies col­leagues have built a great busi­ness, and I would like to thank them for ev­ery­thing they have done.

“It was a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to sell the busi­ness, but we be­lieve this agree­ment will give Dob­bies a bright fu­ture, while al­low­ing our UK re­tail busi­ness to fo­cus on its core strengths.”

An­drew Bracey and Bar­ney Burgess, of Mid­loth­ian Cap­i­tal Part­ners and Hat­ting­ton Cap­i­tal re­spec­tively, said: “We are de­lighted to have been cho­sen by Tesco to take own­er­ship of the Dob­bies Gar­den Cen­tres busi­ness. It is a great busi­ness with fan­tas­tic col­leagues. We’re very op­ti­mistic about the po­ten­tial of the busi­ness, and we look for­ward to grow­ing the busi­ness across the UK from its base in Scot­land.”

Tesco will con­tinue to of­fer cus­tomers a wide se­lec­tion of home and gar­den prod­ucts through its own stores and on­line.

Dob­bies gar­den cen­tre on Ash­ford’s Eureka Park, among those sold by Tesco

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