Tesco is breaking into the UK garden centre market with the £155.6m acquisition of Dobbies Garden Centres. The supermarket giant has agreed a 22.6% stake in the Scottish-based business and intends to launch an offer for the remaining shares.
Tesco says it will retain the brand. Chief executive Sir Terry Leahy says: “The brand name is strong and already well-respected in the local communities in which Dobbies operates.”
He says the increasing popularity of gardening, and in particular the trend towards environmentally friendly products, makes it an attractive sector for Tesco to invest in. “The deal is an important part of our strategy to provide customers with greater access to affordable energy saving and environmental products,” adds Leahy.
Dobbies employs 1,500 people at centres in Scotland, Milton Keynes, Reading, Shrewsbury and Preston. It will retain its head office in Midlothian.