CHESHUNT, England — Tesco here said Friday it has agreed to purchase Dobbies Garden Centres, Midlothian, Scotland, a 21-store chain with stores in Scotland and Northern England, as part of its effort to help promote the use of green products. “The increasing popularity of gardening, and in particular the trend towards environmentally friendly products, makes this an attractive sector for Tesco to invest in ... [as] an important part of our strategy to provide customers with greater access to affordable energy savings and environmental products,” Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco’s chief executive officer, said. Tesco said it would pay approximately $305.8 million (U.S.) in cash for Dobbies, whose sales for the year ended last Oct. 31 were approximately $135.2 million. As a first step, Tesco agreed to acquire 6.16% of Dobbies’ stock, with options to acquire an additional 16.4% and irrevocable commitments for another 2.7%, the company said.
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