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Rangers chairman to buy Edinburgh Wine Importers?

Published:  23 July, 2008

The chairman and owner of Rangers Football Club is poised to buy one Scotland's largest independent drinks wholesalers, Edinburgh Wine Importers (EWI), according to press reports.

David Murray, who already has substantial interests in wine, is tipped to complete a deal this week, further expanding his rapidly growing wine interests.

He already owns a substantial fine wine collection, and last year paid 5.5 million for Chteau Routas, a 630-acre wine estate in Provence. He also has interests in Hawkes Bay Vineyard in New Zealand and said recently that he was looking to expand his interests in the sector.

Billy Bell, managing director of EWI, told Harpers that he couldn't confirm the rumours, 'but we are probably going to make statement on the matter next week'.

EWI sells some of the wine world's best-known brands - such as Brown Brothers, Blue Nun, Torres and Croft - to hotels, restaurants, private clients and independent merchants across Scotland.

Murray is said to be Scotland's fifth-richest man, with a fortune approaching 650 million. Earlier this year, he told Scotland on Sunday: 'I have half a clue about business and now I want to safeguard the capital I have made for future generations. One way I can do that is through wine. I would like to have a portfolio of three to four premium vineyards, which would give me between 20 and 30 brands... I've had an interest in wine for more than 20 years... but it's not until you actually get in the vineyard, work with the winemaker, experience the seasons, that you begin to understand what it is all about.'