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Tesco prepares to offload Dobbies


Tesco is searching for buyers for Dobbies Garden Centres in the latest attempt to prune its assets.

Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket, is an umbrella business to a number of subsidiaries, many of which have become unprofitable strains on the company’s attempts to improve its finances. Its struggling restaurant arm, Giraffe, is also up for sale, along with coffee chain Harris & Hoole. Tesco Nutricentre was marked for closure in late March, though there are supposedly plans to integrate its services into the core Tesco business.

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis has refused to comment on sales of Tesco's assets since taking the helm in late 2014. These have included the £4bn deal to sell the South Korean Tesco Homeplus, as well as the long-term but ultimately fruitless attempts to sell the retail data subsidiary, Dunnhumby.

Tesco initially expanded its offering under the leadership of Philip Clarke, who departed the business following a profit warning which was released just prior to the 2014 accounting scandal. Dobbies itself was purchased in 2008 under Sir Terry Leahy.

Dobbies currently operates 35 garden centres across the UK. It posted a $48m loss in 2014, though sales reportedly grew 7% in the year leading up to March 2015, reaching £153m.

Tesco will be releasing its quarterly financial results on Wednesday. Analysts have predicted that it could be the chain’s first profitable quarter in over three years.

Published on Monday 11 April by Philip Gallagher

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