WEALTHY private investor Andrew Burgess has taken his stake in Havelock Europa to more than 20%.

The former accountant paid more than £70,000 for 426,516 shares at 16.45p each.

That took his holding to more than 7.77 million and 20.17% of the issued share capital of the Fife-based schools and retail interiors company.

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Earlier this month, Mr Burgess bought 62,500 shares in the business.

Havelock has focused on cutting debt and selling off non-core divisions in recent months. The disposals have helped it reduce debt from £13.7 million at the end of 2011 to just £2.3m by December.

The company employs more than 500 at its sites in Dalgety Bay and Kirkcaldy.

Shares in Havelock ended the day almost 11% ahead at 16.62p.