Tesco sells Dobbies Garden Centres for £217m


Tesco has sold its garden centre chain Dobbies for £217m as the retailer continues with its strategy of focusing on its supermarket business.

Dobbies has been sold to a group of investors led by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital.

The sale comes a week after Tesco announced the sale of UK restaurant chain Giraffe and its Turkish business.

Tesco bought Dobbies in 2007 for £150m and it is now the UK's second largest gardening retailer.

Dobbies - which has its headquarters in Lasswade, near Edinburgh - operates 35 garden centres in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Tesco said that the business contributed £17m to its annual profits last year.

Core focus

Tesco has embarked on an asset sale programme in recent months, disposing of what it considers to be non-core parts of its business.

In addition to the recent sale of the Giraffe chain and Kipa, Tesco sold its South Korean business, Homeplus, last September for £4.2bn.

The sales are part of attempts by Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis to revive the retail giant's fortunes.

Announcing the sale of the garden centre business, Mr 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."

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