Wyevale Garden Centres’ bid to snap up rival Dobbies from Tesco could ‘risk hundreds of jobs’ in both head office and in garden centres.

Wyevale’s owner, Terra Firma could close stores in areas where the two companies have competing centres, leading to job losses of up to 400. Jobs are also at risk at Dobbies’ Edinburgh head office, which employs around 180 people.

Wyevale is attempting to acquire Dobbies, which has 35 stores, and which is being sold by Tesco to allow it to focus on its supermarket core.

If the bid is successful the group could have 175 sites, which would make it around six times bigger than its nearest rival.

Because of the size of the group, competition regulation authorities may insist on the disposal of some stores. Wyevale may split its potential estate, into large and small sites. Dobbies would fall into the former camp.

Wyevale declined to comment.