New in brief

West Coast Capital, the private equity investment vehicle of Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, has pushed garden centre Dobbies to open its books for due diligence. The Office of Fair Trading yesterday said it had extended the period for considering Tesco’s possible acquisition by two weeks, until August 2.

Dobbies shares were trading at £16.05 at 10.40am GMT yesterday, significantly above Tesco’s offer price of £15.00, although well below its high of £18.375p in late June when West Coast Capital increased its stake in Dobbies to 25.57% in what is believed to have been an attempt to block Tesco’s chances of gaining 75% of acceptances for its bid.

In response, Tesco lowered its acceptance level to 50% and has, to date, received acceptances of about 30%. Given the premium that Dobbies is trading at compared with Tesco’s offer – which implies a value of about £156m a counter-bid from Hunter or a revised offer from Tesco would need to be priced at £18.45 or above, which would value Dobbies at nearer £190m

GMT this week announced that it is acquiring Melita Cable from John Malone’s Liberty Global and also from the Gasan Group. According to a spokesperson, the transaction value was about €170m.The Melita Cable brand is the sole provider of cable television services to the Maltese Islands and has secured all the major sporting rights for the Barclays English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Serie A and Uefa Cup for the next three years.

August Equity, a London-based PE house, has completed a management buyout of Lifeways Community, a provider of supported living for people with complex needs. Richard Clough, CEO of August Equity portfolio company Healthcare Homes Group, will be appointed as chairman to work alongside Paul Marriner, chief executive, and Jerry Bereika, non-executive director and founder. Clough has a long track record in the healthcare industry, having led the development of Care UK and Healthcare Homes Group.

Oasis Healthcare, the AIM-listed dental chain that is currently the subject of two competitive bids, has received an enhanced offer from Duke Street Capital, its original suitor. Duke Street has now submitted a 94p a share bid, which is 3p higher than the 91p recommended offer from ADP. That bid in turn had trumped Duke Street’s original offer of 82p a share. Duke Street’s new cash bid values Oasis at £88.2m and is double the value of the company on the day before it originally outlined its interest in the group.

Polish Enterprise Fund, the private equity fund managed by Enterprise Investors (EI), has agreed to sell its 94% stake in Polish private healthcare provider Medycyna Rodzinna to Central Eastern European fund Mid Europa Partners. The sale is expected to yield gross proceeds of Z59.2m (US$21.8m) and a two times investment multiple. The transaction will close after the Polish anti-monopoly office grants its approval.