HBOS is understood to have appointed KPMG to conduct an independent review of Wyevale Garden Centres.
HBOS has a 19 per cent stake in Wyevale and KPMG has been instructed to review its business plan to find out if its profits are sustainable. The garden centre group – backed by Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter – has an annual turnover of about £125 million.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, Wyevale has a large debt facility with HBOS. Hunter, who has a 40 per cent stake in Wyevale, helped take the business private in April 2006.
Hunter's investment vehicle, West Coast Capital, and HBOS are locked in talks to renegotiate a total of £650 million of loans used to finance the leveraged buy-outs of Wyevale and Crest Nicholson.
This year, HBOS rolled over a £359 million bridging loan used to finance the Wyevale deal. The loan was due for repayment in July this year, but has been extended.