Collapsed wine merchant Cockburns of Leith has been rescued by a drinks wholesaler owned by former Glasgow Rangers Football Club chairman Sir David Murray.

Edinburgh Wine Importers acquired the Cockburns name, customer listings, book debts and some of the stock from Ernst and Young, who took over when the company went into administration a week ago.

Sir David is a noted wine collector who also owns Château Routas in Provence, and Domaine Jessiaume in Santenay.

His company, Murray International Holdings, is currently trying to sell its controlling stake in Rangers Football Club, with Sir David standing down as club chairman last year.

Cockburns, Scotland’s oldest wine merchant, once counted Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens among its customers, but has seen its orders dwindle during the economic downturn.

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Written by Richard Woodard