Kingspan warmed by recent successes
Cantillon: The group has side-stepped the full impact of a tough winter in Europe to post a robust growth in revenues
Gilbert McCarthy (left), Kingspan managing director, and chief executive Gene Murtagh. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
Given that the success rate of mergers and acquisitions can be as low as just 25 per cent, Kingspan must be feeling pleased that its most recent transactions have begun to reap rewards so quickly.
Thanks to its acquisition of both Rigidal Industries in the United Arab Emirates and ThyssenKrupp Construction in Europe last year, the insulation and building materials group has managed to side-step the full impact of a tough winter in Europe to post a robust growth in revenues in the first half of the year. And acquisitions are likely to continue to play a key part in its strategy going forward.
Indeed, despite making two acquisitions last year, the group’s debt position is no higher than last year, at €165.9 million, and is forecast to fall as low as €100 million by year end.
This gives it considerable firepower, and according to chief executive Gene Murtagh (pictured), Kingspan could “comfortably” spend between €250- €300 million on a deal, although it doesn’t appear that there is an immediate pipeline of potentail acquisitions.
“There’s nothing imminent, but we’d be looking at mainland Europe/Americas in general, and we’d be most focused on our core business of panels and boards,” he told The Irish Times yesterday.
For Florence O’Donoghue, an analyst with Davy, Kingspan is likely “still digesting last year’s deals” at the moment, but he notes that it will likely want to consolidate further in the markets it already operates in.
“Maybe early next year we’ll see something happening again,” he said, but noted that vendor expectations might be an obstacle, with Kingspan likely to be looking for value.
But an acquisition is not the group’s only opportunity for growth, with a recovery in margins, and the shift towards energy efficient buildings, likely to drive growth in the short term.