Date: 15th March 2006 at 4:01pm
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Billionaire businessman Lord Ashcroft is set to become the majority shareholder of Watford.

Lord Michael Ashcroft, who is the deputy chairman of the Tory Party, will own up to 42% of Watford Leisure PLC following a rights issue designed to raise £6million which the club hope will write off their debts.

Ashcroft told the club’s official website: ‘Watford is a good business that is making steady and sure progress. ?My investment will hopefully enable Chairman Graham Simpson and chief executive Mark Ashton to take the business to the next level and beyond. ‘It is an exciting time to be involved with Watford. The board and the executive management team, led by Graham, have made huge progress.’

Lord Ashcroft already has a 6.5% shareholding in Watford Leisure through his Fordwat investment vehicle.