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20 January 2015, 11:22
Rangers football board chairman Sandy Easdale has increased his stake in the club after buying up more than one million shares, the Ibrox outfit has told the stock exchange.
The purchase means he now owns just over 5,250,000 shares - or just less than 6.5 per cent.
The McGill's bus boss also holds the proxies of a number of other shareholders, including Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Funds Holding Trust - putting him in control of a further 16million shares, worth 19.6 per cent.
He had been responsible for 5.21 per cent but appears to have bought up his latest tranche on Friday afternoon just as Dave King was making his big move to sweep the current board out of Ibrox.
The South Africa-based businessman and the Three Bears - wealthy fans Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor - bought up around 34 per cent of the club late last month.
King has now called a general meeting to oust the current board of directors which includes Easdale's brother James as well as chairman David Somers and Mike Ashley associates Derek Llambias and Barry Leach.
The former oldco director - who is set to fly into Scotland early next month - and the Three Bears will need to win a majority vote if they are to rout the boardroom and are now frantically trying to build an anti-board coalition with at least 51 per cent of the club's total shareholding.
With every vote vital, Easdale has now strengthened his hand slightly as he bids to cling on to power alongside ally Ashley.
In a 7am statement to the stock exchange, the club said: "The Company announces that it was notified on 19th January 2015 that Alexander Easdale purchased 1,014,000 ordinary shares of one penny each in the Company on 16 January 2015.
"As a result, Mr Easdale now holds 5, 256,110 Ordinary Shares in the Company, equal to 6.451 per cent of the issued share capital of the Company.
"Mr Easdale also holds voting rights over, but does not own, a further 16,028,084 Ordinary Shares, representing 19.672 per cent of the Company, meaning that in total he holds voting rights over 21,284,194 Ordinary Shares, representing 26.123 per cent of the issued share capital of the Company.''