Kingspan has scope to spend €200 million on acquisitions
Insulation and building materials group spent €73 million last year
Eugene Murtagh, Kingspan chief executive, at the group’s agm at a Dublin hotel yesterday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/Irish Times
Insulation and building materials group Kingspan has the scope to spend up to €200 million on acquisitions, its chief executive said yesterday.
Following its annual general meeting in Dublin, Gene Murtagh, the Cavan-based group’s chief executive, said it would be “comfortable” with spending up to €200 million on acquisitions should the opportunities arise.
Mr Murtagh added that it had no target at the moment but made it clear that it was looking for prospective purchases at the right price.
“It has to be good value from our perspective,” he said.
South American markets
The group’s focus is on either continental Europe or North America, but Mr Murtagh said it could also be prepared to consider South American markets such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia or Peru.
He stressed that the group would prefer to make a sizeable purchase.
Last year Kingspan spent a total of €73.7 million on buying businesses, with a further €7.5 million deferred.
Its biggest purchase was Thyssenkrupp Construction Group, a division of the German steel giant, for which it paid €39.6 million.
Its other substantial deal, Dubai-based Rigidal Industries, cost it €22.1 million, with a further €6.5 million deferred.
It spent €12 million on two further purchases, one in the UK and the other in Australia.
Through Rigidal Kingspan has the roofing contract for the expansion of Abu Dhabi airport. Mr Murtagh did not reveal the deal’s value beyond saying it is worth more than €10 million.
Ahead of yesterday’s meeting Kingspan issued a statement saying sales for the first four months of the year were €520 million, 10 per cent ahead of 2012. Net debt was €165.2 million, in line with the position at the end of December.
In common with another construction-focused group CRH, which held its agm on Wednesday, Kingspan found that demand in most of its European markets was weak while the US made a good start and is expected to perform well this year.
Australasia has slowed from levels shown last year, while the Middle East is buoyant.
“Ireland is showing some signs of improvement in commercial construction, albeit from a negligible base,” the statement noted.