The battle for Dobbies Garden Centre, which Tesco agreed to acquire earlier this month, intensified yesterday as Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter increased his stake in the company to 25.6%.

The purchase took Sir Tom over the 25% stake acquired to block Tesco's takeover of the business but Tesco responded by sending out an offer document to shareholders which cut the acceptance level needed from 75% to just 50%.

West Coast Capital, Sir Tom's investment vehicle, told the Financial Times it was “considering all its options in relation to its shareholding, one of which is a possible offer for the company.”

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