Eugene Murtagh raises €44.5m from Kingspan share sale

Chairman and founder retains almost 15% stake of Cavan-based insulation maker

Eugene Murtagh is a founder of  Cavan-based Kingspan.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Eugene Murtagh is a founder of Cavan-based Kingspan. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Kingspan chairman Eugene Murtagh raised €44.5 million from selling shares in the insulation maker, it emerged on Friday.

Mr Murtagh is a founder of the Cavan-based group that makes and sells insulation boards and panels, along with other building materials, in Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia.

A stock exchange announcement shows that Mr Murtagh sold one million shares in the group at €44.50 each for a total of €44.5 million on Thursday, May 16th.

The sale brings to €114.5 million the total that Mr Murtagh has made from selling shares in Kingspan over the last two years.

In March 2017, he sold one million equities at €30 each, a total of €30 million, while in May last year, he raised €40 million from selling one million of his stock at €40 each.

Mr Murtagh, whose son Gene Murtagh, is Kingspan’s chief executive, holds almost 15 per cent of the group following the sale.

He still owns 180.65 million Kingspan shares, worth close to €808 million at Friday’s closing price of €44.72.

The chairman also retains his position as Kingspan’s biggest shareholder. The next largest investor is US group, Blackrock, with just less than 12 per cent while German insurer Allianz ranks third with a 6.9 per cent stake. UK Asset manager Baillie Gifford is fourth with a 6.14 per cent holding.

Kingspan shares actually lost ground following the news that Mr Murtagh had sold some of his stake. The stock opened at €44.90 on Friday morning after closing at €45.28 on Thursday.

Mr Murtagh (76) founded Kingspan in Kingscourt, Co Cavan in 1965 and led the company until he retired as chief executive in 2005, when his son succeeded him at the helm.

Sales last year rose 22 per cent to almost €4.4 billion while pre-tax profit grew at a similar rate to €405 million. Earnings per share increased 16 per cent to 184 cent. Net assets were €1.8 billion on December 31st last.

Kingspan has spent more than €1 billion on buying mainly smaller rivals in the last two years, mainly to expand its business in North and South America.

Gene Murtagh indicated this month that the company could spend €400 million on €500 million on further deals.

Kingspan recently walked away after Belgian insulation and foam manufacturer, Recticel, rejected a bid that could have cost the Irish group €350 million to €400 million.