Scottish business tycoon Sir Tom Hunter is trying to block Tesco-controlled garden centre chain Dobbies’ rights issue unveiled last month.

Hunter, who owns 29 per cent of Dobbies through his West Coast Capital investment vehicle, initiated proceedings yesterday “seeking an interim order to block the company’s proposed offer to shareholders”.

In April, Dobbies unveiled its intention to raise£150 million through the rights issue, which is considered by some as a test of Hunter’s resolve to hold onto his stake.

Dobbies revealed that West Coast Capital’s proposed blocking action in a stock exchange statement today.

Dobbies said: “The board has carefully considered the merits of the open offer and believes that the open offer is in the best interests of the company and all of its shareholders.

“The open offer will enable the company to progress its stated expansion plans and the board believes that it provides access to funding on attractive terms in current market conditions, which will be earnings-enhancing. The company intends to present a robust defence of its strategy at the court hearing.”

Last year, Hunter fought a well-publicised battle with Tesco – which owns 65 per cent of Dobbies – to take control of the garden centre business.