Dobbies Garden Centre has urged shareholders to back Tesco's 1,500p a share offer for the garden centre chain after Sir Tom Hunter, the owner of Wyevale Garden Centres, said he would not be making a counter bid.

The chain has sent out a letter to all of its shareholders recommending them to accept the offer, which was tabled by Tesco in June. “In the opinion of the Dobbies board, the offer is an excellent offer and is in the best interests of all Dobbies shareholders,” it said.

Sir Tom Hunter revealed yesterday that he would not be making a counter offer but would not sell his 25.6% stake in Dobbies. He is widely expected to increase his stake further later today.

“We think the management rolled over far too quickly when there were at least three potential bidders,” he told the Financial Times.

Tesco has a 32.6% stake in Dobbies but needs 50% to take control of the company. Yesterday it extended its deadline for Dobbies shareholders to accept its offer to 19 August.