Hands set to buy garden centres

TERRA Firma, the private equity house owned by Guy Hands, is close to snapping up Garden Centre Group, it is understood.

It is expected to enter exclusive talks later this week with the sellers, which include Lloyds Banking Group. The deal is said to value the business at around £300m.

Formerly called Wyevale, GCG delivered a pre-tax profit of £860,000 in the year to 26 December 2010, a sharp fall on the previous year’s £13.2m. But the group’s performance is thought to have improved considerably since then.