Tesco has today confirmed the sale of Dobbies Garden Centres to a holding company controlled by Midlothian Capital Partners Limited, Hattington Capital LLP and a number of additional equity investors that include family offices and individual investors, for £217m on a cash and debt free basis. The sale represents the entire share capital of Dobbies Garden Centres Limited.
Dobbies Garden Centres is the UK’s second largest specialist garden centre retailer, operating 35 garden centres across Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.
The group that has acquired Dobbies will invest to secure the long-term growth of the business. It has committed to protect jobs, keep the head office in Scotland and grow the business throughout the UK from its base in Lasswade.
The group has been brought together by Midlothian Capital and Hattington Capital, and includes a number of highly experienced retail industry investors.
Commenting on the deal, Andrew Bracey of Midlothian Capital said: “Dobbies is an iconic brand and we believe that Dobbies can be the market leader in the garden centre sector. It has a superior team that, with our long-term vision and capital, will grow this business across Britain.”
“Together we have committed capital and expertise to drive the future growth of Dobbies. All of us are passionate about the custodianship of this business: Dobbies has found a good home with our group.”
He added: “We have been treated very professionally by Tesco and its advisory team.”
Barney Burgess, of Hattington Capital, explained: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Tesco to become the new owners of Dobbies. We inherit a strong company with some of the best stores in the industry and fantastic colleagues who, together with Tesco, have been good stewards of the Dobbies brand.”
He added: “The prospects for Dobbies are excellent: it has significant potential for growth in an under-served and under-developed sector. This is one of the most exciting opportunities in British retail.”
Mr. Bracey will be joined by Aidan Clegg and Neil Currie of Midlothian Capital, as well as Mr. Burgess and Frederick Goltz of Hattington Capital on the Dobbies Board. The acquisition has received financing from Ares Capital Partners.
The acquiring group was advised by Rothschild and Slaughter and May.