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Shareholder joins Sir Tom Hunter's bandwagon

Published: 14 May 2008
Clothing store owner submits affidavit.
The Dobbies-Tesco-Sir Tom Hunter wrangle took another turn this week after it emerged that the owner of Mackays Stores, and shareholder in the garden centre, Iain McGeoch has submitted an affidavit in relation to the court case.

According to The Herald newspaper, Mr McGeoch is 'supportive' of Sir Tom Hunter's efforts to block an attempt by the Dobbies board and 65.5% shareholder Tesco to raise £150m in a share issue.

A spokesman for Mr McGeoch told the paper: "I can confirm Iain McGeoch has submitted an affidavit in this case."

The court case, which started Monday, has seen all the parties put their arguments forward: Dobbies, stating that the money raised from the share issue is needed for expansion and to repay debts, while counter-claiming that Sir Tom Hunter has ulterior motives in relation to his other garden-based businesses.

Tesco's representative, meanwhile, has supported Dobbies by saying Sir Tom Hunter has brought the case to court to enable a 'more attractive exit strategy'.

Sir Tom Hunter maintains that is fighting in the interests of shareholders.

The Scottish businessman also claims that the move is aimed at forcing him and other minority shareholders to sell up to give Tesco an even greater share.

Dobbies has since issued a statement clarifying its position, stressing that it has not asked the minority shareholders to sell up.

The case continues with a verdict expected later this week.

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