Woollen Mill boss ‘mulls Dobbies bid’

Retail billionaire Philip Day may diversify his Edinburgh Woollen Mill group by making a bid for Dobbies Garden Centres after Tesco put the chain up for sale, according to weekend news reports.

Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill group, which includes Peacocks, has joined other potential buyers for Dobbies that include Wyevale Garden Centres, owned by private equity firm Terra Firma.

It is understood that Tesco brought in investment bankers from Greenhill to guage interest in Dobbies.

Tesco bought Dobbies in 2008 under former boss Sir Terry Leahy.

Dobbies has 35 garden centres across the UK, many of which are attached to Tesco stores, but posted a £48 million loss in its 2014-15 financial year after writing down the value of real estate.