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Cockburn’s of Leith rescued from administration

Sir David Murray has taken control of Cockburns of Leith.

The company, which is one of Scotland’s oldest wine merchants, went into administration on Friday 29 January .

The brand name of Cockburn’s, its customer list and part of its stock have been obtained by Livingston-based Edinburgh Wine Importers, which was founded in 1975 and has been owned by Murray for the past four years.

Murray, who owns vineyards in Provence and Burgundy, bought Cockburn’s of Leith for an undisclosed sum from its administrators Ernst & Young.

Murray said: “Cockburn’s of Leith is an important part of our wine heritage and could not be allowed to disappear or leave Scotland.

“We plan continuity with Cockburn’s, together with expansion of the brand into new markets. We will develop this prestigious old name for the future enjoyment of good wine drinkers.”

Murray himself is chairman of Murray International Holdings, which has metal and property interests and a controlling stake in Rangers Football Club.

Colin Dempster, joint administrator of Cockburn’s at Ernst & Young said: “We received a significant amount of interest in Cockburn’s of Leith and are pleased to have concluded a successful sale in a short timescale.

“To have safeguarded the historic name of Scotland’s oldest wine wholesaler is a great result.”

Billy Bell, managing director of Edinburgh Wine Importers, confirmed that it has recruited Ian McPhail, formerly of Cockburn’s wholesale, to run the new addition to the company.

Rupert Millar, 04.02.10

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