Dobbies picks Dickson Minto for sale to Tesco

Garden centre Dobbies turned to Dickson Minto over regular adviser Tods Murray for the £156m bidding war that saw Tesco emerge as the likely victor.

A Dickson Minto team, led by name partner Bruce Minto and corporate partner Colin MacNeill, navigated Dobbies through the competitive process that saw its board accept a £15-a-share offer from Tesco, which was advised by longstanding adviser Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Dobbies has been a Dickson Minto client for two years, but Edinburgh’s Tods Murray is the company’s main external law firm, helping it through its expansion over the last decade.

However, it is understood that Dobbies’ brokers, Bell Lawrie and Shore Capital, pressed for M&A heavyweight Dickson Minto.

Tesco bid against Scottish private equity house West Coast Capital, advised by McGrigors corporate partner Barry McCaig.

Just before a ‘put up or shut up’ notice from the Takeover Panel, West Coast decided not to challenge Tesco’s £156m bid.

However, West Coast retains a 27 per cent stake in Dobbies, while Tesco has to receive more than 50 per cent support from Dobbies’ shareholders. At the time of going to press it had 32 per cent. Tesco had until yesterday (19 August) to gain the votes.