Tesco sold Dobbies Garden Centres for £217 million to a group of investors led by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital.
The chain of garden centres, bought by Tesco in 2007 for £155 million, has grown to become Britain’s second largest specialist garden centre retailer (behind the Garden Centre Group), with 35 garden centres across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.
Tesco’s decision to sell Dobbies is part of the retailer’s effort to offload assets that are not considered to be core to its main business – the company is refocusing on its grocery operations.
Tesco 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.”
In 2007 Dobbies reported profits of £5.1m, this increased to £6.3m in 2014, but for the year to March 2015 it made a £48m loss.
Last week Tesco confirmed that the sale of its Giraffe restaurant group and interests in a Turkish grocery chain.