Dobbies names Ocado’s Andrew Bracey as chairman

Andrew Bracey has been appointed chairman of garden centre chain Dobbies.

He has spent much of his career working in the retail industry, most recently as chief financial officer of online supermarket Ocado Group plc, where he helped the take the company from its early development through to its IPO (Initial Public Offering: the first time that the stock of a private company is offered to the public).

Andrew is a founding partner of Midlothian Capital Partners which, together with Hattington Capital, recently acquired Dobbies from Tesco for £218m on a cash and debt-free basis.

Dobbies ceo John Cleland said: “Andrew has many years of experience in retail and has a genuine passion for Dobbies, both of which will be of huge benefit to the business as we create a stronger, market-leading company. I look forward to working with him again, to grow the business and deliver a success story.”

Andrew Bracey added: “I have long admired Dobbies. It’s one of the great retail brands in Britain with a strong heritage and really bright prospects. I’m very enthusiastic about the business, as well as its potential. Therefore I’m delighted to be joining as chairman, to support John and the team, and to help steer Dobbies to future growth.”

Barney Burgess of Hattington Capital said: “Andrew has an infectious enthusiasm for Dobbies which, combined with his extensive experience of the retail industry, makes him the ideal chairman for the business. I’m very pleased that he’s agreed to take on the role.”

Headquartered in Scotland, Dobbies is the UK’s second largest garden centre retailer with 34 stores across the UK: 15 Scotland, 18 England, 1 Northern Ireland).

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