Investor's Champion Blog
Provides refreshingly forthright, independent comment on predominantly small cap companies and specialist investment funds. Informed opinion, based on first-hand research, but pulls no punches in exposing management weaknesses.

DOBBIES GARDEN CENTRES (AIM: DGC) The fat lady hasn't even entered the hall!

Thank goodness, the Dobbies story is still alive and kicking and the Hunter is once again moving in for the kill, or so he hopes. The only problem now is that an even larger hunter, the T-Rex (dinosaur and not singer) of the retail world is lurking ready to strike.

The Scottish Hunter has now raised his stake to 20.6% by purchasing shares at 1750p and the boys from Hertfordshire (just around the corner from me) are having a little think about things. Hopefully the key decision makers on both sides will at least visit a garden centre or two this weekend to get a better feel of what they are letting themselves in for.

Having originally started building his stake at under 1200p Hunter could simply be playing with the Herts boys and be quite prepared to walk away with a nice profit-not anywhere as nice as mine though, at least in perecentage terms anyway!

I just can’t see the Hunter will be happy with Tesco in his garden centre space (he has stake in all the other big groups) and will endeavour to keep them out if possible.

The other possible scenario, which would take a bit of organising, is for the inheritance tax (IHT) planning investors to frustrate both predators. Alright, I’m dreaming a bit, but I reckon there is so much IHT money in Dobbies hidden in nominee names that these wise, more mature (diplomatic aren’t I !) investors should have a say in things. They might need a little encouragement to rise out of their rocking chairs (less diplomatic) but should be a force in this deal.

Let’s just hope the 2 big predators don’t mess it up altogether because Dobbies has been a truly great IHT stock .


Investor's Champion is a registered trade mark of Investors Champion Ltd.  Investor’s Champion Limited is a company registered in England and Wales under number 03577867 whose registered office is at Langwood House, 63-81 High Street, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 1EQ. Investor’s Champion Ltd is associated with Fundamental Asset Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.