Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte has agreed to sell the book and film rights to his story of his takeover and the financial collapse of the club.
In an announcement to the stock exchange on Wednesday, Worthington Group plc announced that it had acquired a 26% stake in Law Financial Limited, one of Mr Whyte’s companies.
The group said the assets of the firm include the legal action Mr Whyte launched against current Rangers chief executive Charles Green, who he has accused of acting as a "front" for him last summer.
In the stock exchange announcement, Worthington Group said: "It has also been agreed that, pursuant to the agreement certain other related rights, assets and causes of action will be transferred to the Law Financial Group or directly to Worthington.
"Those assets include the book, film and television rights to the two takeovers of The Rangers Football Club in 2011 and 2012 as it relates to Craig Whyte. It is intended that these rights will be commercialised in due course."
Mr Whyte purchased an 85% stake in Rangers from Sir David Murray for £1 in May 2011. The club was placed into administration last February with debts of up to £124m, including £18m of unpaid tax following Mr Whyte’s takeover.
Mr Green’s consortium purchased the assets of the club through the newco Sevco Scotland Limited in a £5.5m deal last June. Mr Whyte is contesting this, claiming the deal was struck by administrators Duff and Phelps with another firm, Sevco 5088, which he claims to be behind.
Rangers have announced they are preparing a file to submit to Police Scotland on Mr Whyte and his associate Aidan Earley's conduct.
Worthington, which purchased the stake in Law Financial Ltd for £250,000 in convertible loan notes, said the company "has a number of subsidiaries, namely Sevco 5088 Ltd, Law Capital Ltd, Litigation Capital Ltd and Media Litigation Ltd."
It has the option of buying out Mr Whyte’s stake in the firm until October 31 this year.
Douglas Ware, chief executive officer of the Worthington Group, added: "We believe that the transaction contemplated by this announcement gives the company a major opportunity to increase shareholder value and thus to strengthen the company's balance sheet, enabling the company to look at additional opportunities as they arise."
In its 2012 annual accounts, Worthington Group listed Mr Whyte’s British Virgin Islands-registered firm, Liberty Capital Limited, as owning a 7.6% shareholding in the plc. It also listed Regensis Holdings Limited, which is related to Mr Earley’s brother Wulstan, as owning a 15.3% share of the company.
Worthington owns the Jerome Pension Fund, which is involved in a legal dispute with several other parties over money seized by Duff and Phelps from Mr Whyte’s former lawyers, Collyer Bristow. Worthington is claiming £3m of pension funds in the court action "with regard to an uncompleted loan".
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