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Interest blooms in Garden Centre Group

The garden centres once part-owned by the private equity firm of former Scottish billionaire Sir Tom Hunter go on the block this autumn. Buyout firms are expected to lodge their first bids in October.

The 119-site Garden Centre Group, was part-owned by Hunter’s West Coast Capital until the business was seized by HBOS in a debt-for-equity swap three years ago.

Sources familiar with the process said the business has attracted strong interest from private equity firms. The centres could fetch £300m, according to reports.

The potential sale comes amid talks between GCG and its lender and shareholder Lloyds Banking Group, over an extension of its debt. All parties declined to comment or did not comment in time for publication.

Sir Tom dropped off The Sunday Times Rich List after losing more than £300m of his £1bn fortune.

Source : Jennifer Bollen - eFinancial News.com
www.efinancialnews.com/story/2011-08-08/tom-hunter-garden-centre-group?mod=sectionheadlines-TT-PE

08 August 2011
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