Threshold dropped to 50% of shares
Tesco has cut the acceptance threshold for its takeover of garden centre group Dobbies from 75 per cent to 50 per cent of the shares.

The change followed share-buying in Dobbies over the past week by garden centres tycoon Sir Tom Hunter, who amassed a 25.6 per cent stake and was therefore in a position to block the original deal.

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner said that Hunter would now have to stage a full bid for Dobbies himself, or 'do a deal with Tesco and walk away with a tidy profit as a consolation for having a powerful competitor in the market'.

The only other option, said Ratner, was for Hunter to remain 'as a troublesome minority' investor.

Tesco offered 1500p a share for Dobbies originally, but Hunter has been buying at 1845p a share.