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Dobbies to proceed with rights issue

Published: 15 May 2008
Judgement in favour of Tesco-backed garden centre
Dobbies Garden Centre will put its proposed £150 million rights issue to shareholders next week after Sir Tom Hunter failed in a legal bid to block the move.

Lord Glennie - judge in the Edinburgh court case - turned down the request for an interim order.

Dobbies confirmed the decision in a statement and added its intention to put the rights issue to a vote at an annual general meeting on Wednesday 21, 2008.

Sir Tom Hunter, who owns 29.2 per cent of Dobbies through his West Coast Capital investment vehicle, asked a court to freeze the proposed rights issue because it was not in the interests of all shareholders.

A spokesman for West Coast Capital said "We respect this judgement. It is our intention to speak to Tesco in order to seek a fair solution for all 300 [minority] shareholders, many of whom have written to us unsolicited in support of our actions.

"Should a fair resolution not be forthcoming we reserve our right to continue down the legal process."

Sir Tom is opposed to the rights issue because under its terms he will have to pay £44 million to retain his stake at its current level.

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