Sir Tom Hunter has doubled his stake in Dobbies Garden Centres, taking his holding to 20.5% – just 4.5% short of the 25% needed to block the Tesco takeover of the garden centre chain. Daily Telegraph. The Times. Financial Times

West Coast Capital, Hunter's vehicle, is believed to have paid £17.50 for the stake – a substantial premium to the £15-a-share offer Tesco tabled last week and recommended by the Dobbies board.

West Coast said yesterday that it was 'considering all its options in relation to its shareholding, one of which is a possible offer for the company'.

Dobbies is Britain's second biggest garden centre chain with 21 stores in Scotland and northern England.