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