Wyevale Garden Centres (“WGC”), the UK’s biggest garden centre operator, has announced the sale of a portfolio of five garden centres to Dobbies Garden Centres.
The centres are: Gloucester; Heighley Gate; Huntingdon; Woodbridge and Woodlands.
WGC chief executive Roger Mclaughlan said: “We are pleased to have agreed the sale of five of our largest centres to Dobbies, one of the UK’s biggest and most experienced garden centre operators. We would like to thank our great colleagues at these centres, who have been central to our turnaround in the past few years and wish them well for the next stage of their growth and development under Dobbies’ ownership.”
Dobbies Garden Centres chief executive officer Graeme Jenkins added: “The acquisition of these five centres is in line with our strategic growth plan for Dobbies. We are looking forward to welcoming our new team members and to working with them to develop the centres over the years to come.”
The acquisition brings more than 400 team members to Dobbies and takes the garden centre retailer’s estate to 39 centres across the UK.
The five centres are all larger destination garden centres, similar in size to the nine centres sold to Blue Diamond in July. WGC has received a significant number of offers for all or part of the remaining WGC business from national, regional and financial operators as well as local entrepreneurs.
The sale is expected to complete in late October with the centres reopening as Dobbies soon after.
WGC chief financial officer Anthony Jones said: “Since the launch of the sale process in May we have already sold 23 centres and are currently evaluating a wide range of competitive offers from group buyers, regional operators and local entrepreneurs. We look forward to further positive discussions with all potential buyers.”
Christie & Co managing director Darren Bond added: “Since the start of the WGC sale process, the opportunity to run one, a small group or a portfolio of garden centres has ignited interest within the sector and beyond. We are delighted to have supported the sale of these five centres to Dobbies, meaning we have now exchanged on 28 sites as part of the sale process.”