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Dobbies issues clarification statement after chief executive's comments

Published: 17 August 2007
Dobbies has seen fit to issue a clarification statement to investors after comments made by its chief executive, James Barnes, to the Daily Mail.
Dobbies issues clarification statement after chief executive's comments
In the 'City interview' he expressed his desire for the supermarket chain to win, and why shareholders should sell their shares.

He said: 'From my research its the highest exit multiple paid for a retail business in the last 30 years.'

He also had a warning to those who wish to hang on to stock in the hope of a better deal: 'The future dividend would be questionable, as we are probably going to use our cash to expand,' he said.

However, Dobbies' board issued a statement saying that no decision had been made over the payment of a dividend or how expansion should be funded.

It added that the comments regarding future dividends 'should be ignored'.

The garden chain's board also stated it 'does not have access to supporting evidence to substantiate the comment over a timescale of 30 years.'

A Dobbies spokesperson subsequently put a positive spin on the events by insisting the comments would bring 'welcomed' attention to the quality of Tesco's bid.

Shares in Dobbies fell another 20p to 1,435p, which analysts said reflect fears that Tesco would fail to reach 50 per cent acceptances.

Sir Tom Hunter's investment vehicle, West Coast Capital, bought a further 20,000 Dobbies shares yesterday.

Tesco, which has bid 1500p per share for Dobbies, has until 1pm Sunday August 19 for its offer to be accepted.

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