In yet another twist in the long-running Dobbies and Tesco saga, it has emerged that ceo James Barnes has sold his shares in the garden centre.
According to the Guardian website James Barnes, whose family floated the company and who retained a personal stake of more than 6% has sold all his shares, netting £9.8m.
If two other directors follow suit - operations director Johnny Trotter and chairman Alex Hammond-Chambers -they could trouser £3.6m and £2m respectively, estimates suggest.
However, this saga could end soon if Sir Tom Hunter, who has on successive occasions raised his shareholding to 26%, does not tender a bid by 5pm Thursday August 9.
By takeover panel rules he will then have to wait six months before placing another offer.
Only yesterday Tesco upped the ante in its intent to secure control of Dobbies, exercising options over 16.4% making it the garden centre's largest shareholder with 28.1% - and effectively a blocking vote.
The grocery retailer also urged Dobbies shareholders to accept its bid.
A spokesman for the UK's largest retailer said the move 'shows that we really mean business'.