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SBD Global/November 22, 2013/Finance

Laxey Partners Is Largest Scottish League 1 Rangers Shareholder Following $2.2M Deal

Laxey Partners has become Rangers largest shareholder.

Isle of Man-based hedge fund Laxey Partners "has become the largest shareholder" in Scottish League 1 Rangers following a £1.4M ($2.2M) deal, with the fund signaling that it will vote in favor of the current board members at the annual general meeting, according to the SCOTSMAN. The group took its shareholding to 11.64% of the company, Rangers Int'l Football Club plc., "after buying more than 3.3 million shares." The purchase was made on Wednesday and Rangers "notified the London Stock Exchange of the change of shareholding on Thursday." Laxey Partners now has more than 7.5 million shares and also has a deal in place to buy more than 700,000 shares from former Rangers CEO Charles Green "when he is free to sell his pre-share issue holding" on Dec. 19 (SCOTSMAN, 11/21). The BBC's Alasdair Lamont wrote "the significance of the deal will be felt at next month's gathering, where a crucial vote is due." The current board "is looking to win a power struggle" with a group that includes former Rangers Dir Paul Murray and Scottish businessman Jim McColl. Both parties "are confident of emerging from the AGM with control following months of acrimonious disputes over the running of Rangers." No indication has been given as to who sold the shares on Wednesday, "although the only groups that held such an amount are the institutional investors Artemis and Hargreave Hale as well as Blue Pitch" (BBC, 11/21).

MORE TROUBLE? In Glasgow, Alan Marshall wrote Rangers could be set for another battle with the football authorities after it emerged that the Scottish Professional Football League board "is considering pursuing the Ibrox club" for £250,000 ($404,000). Lawyers for the SPFL -- which replaced the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League this year as the new league body -- "have examined recovering the money under an agreement that led to the transfer" of Rangers’ Scottish FA membership. That Five-Way Agreement "gave the authorities power to recover the oldco’s football debts from the new owners" (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 11/21).

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