A consortium led by Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital has made a £30.2m cash offer for garden centre company Blooms of Bressingham, it was announced this morning

Alongside his familiar joint venture partners Bank of Scotland, Nick Leslau, Tim Walton and Icelandic retail group Baugur, Hunter has offered 86.5p in cash for each Blooms share.

The offer price represents a premium of 23.8% to Blooms’ average closing price of 69.88p a share in the six months to 15 January 2007, and a 27.2% premium to its 68p net asset value a share, as reported in its interim accounts for the six months that ended on 30 July 2006.

The directors of Blooms have recommended the deal, which, upon completion, will help Hunter and his partners consolidate their position in the property-rich garden centre sector following the acquisitions of Wyevale, Bridgemere Garden World and a 29.9% stake in Flying Brands, a Jersey-based home shopping group with a gardening division.

Charles Good, chairman of Blooms, said: ‘The garden centre sector is going through a period of accelerating change where there are clear benefits from joining forces. The board has given careful consideration to WCC [West Coast Capital] Floris’s cash offer and believes it represents a good opportunity for the Blooms business.’

Paul Davidson, director of WCC Floris – the acquisition vehicle – and partner in West Coast Capital, added: ‘We indicated at the time of the acquisition of Wyevale the consortium’s strategy to invest in and grow Wyevale’s garden centre business.

‘Blooms is a particularly attractive business in the sector and there are obvious cost and revenue synergies with the Wyevale business, as well as with those of the partners in WCC Floris.’