He said: "It’s a difficult market to find businesses that are reasonably priced, and one can say have a good long-term story. We tend to go for businesses where there’s a strong transformational element to them. Something like The Garden Centre Group is a good example of that where we’ve moved it from being plant- and horticultural-based to making it more like a leisure company."
Hands claimed "earnings have doubled and the management team believe they can double earnings again over the next three or four years".
Meanwhile, The Guardian has speculated that Tesco might sell its Dobbies Garden Centre chain to plug a profits gap.
Tesco bought Dobbies for £156m in 2007 "at the height of the pre-recession spending boom when being 'green' and green-fingered was all the rage. Not much has been heard about the still-Edinburgh-based garden chain since." said the newspaper. Dobbies most recent figures, for the year to 24 February 2013 saw profits down 30 per cent to £7.3m on sales of £137.4m.
The Guardian added: "A sale would not make that much difference to Tesco’s coffers but [new chief executive Dave] Lewis may think pruning its UK empire will make it healther in the long-term."
Neither company commented.