Only private equity groups left standing in Garden Centre Group sale

The Garden Centre Group sale may not happen until after Christmas because the three private equity firms believed to be left bidding - Apax, Terra Firma and Duke Street Capital - want more time to look at the chain's books.

Chief executive Nicholas Marshall told staff the sale will take weeks to complete - image: HW
Chief executive Nicholas Marshall told staff the sale will take weeks to complete - image: HW

GCG chief executive Nicholas Marshall has told staff that the sale will not take place for several weeks and that retailers, including Morrisons and John Lewis, have dropped out of the running to take over the 130-centre group.

The £300m sale was due to complete by the end of the year. Second round bids went in last week.

Garden Centre Group are believed to be happy that other retailers have pulled out, which would mean it was more likely Nicholas Marshall would continue to run the business.

Bridgepoint has invested in Warren Haskins' former business HobbyCraft for £100m in 2010 but told Horticulture Week: "We’re not bidding."

Duke Street Capital is a mid-market investor and has bought into Focus in the past.

Apax owns Scandanavian garden centre group Plantasjen, while Terra Firma founder Guy Hands has confirmed his interest in GCG.

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