Sunday 23 October 2016

Kingspan boss Murtagh invests €400,000 in smarthome firm

Published 31/07/2015 | 02:30

Kingspan CEO Gene Murtagh
Kingspan CEO Gene Murtagh

Kingspan boss Gene Murtagh has taken a stake in Dundalk-based smarthome heating firm Climote, the Irish Independent has learned.

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And it's understood that the valuation placed on Climote has doubled in the past two years.

Mr Murtagh is the latest heavy-hitter from the energy sector to invest in the business.

Last year, former Bord Gais chief executive John Mullins took a stake in Climote, as did former Airtricity boss Ian Marchant. Mr Marchant invested around €100,000 and it's believed that Mr Mullins invested about €300,000. Both are now advisers to Climote.

Mr Murtagh has stumped up €400,000 for his personal holding in Climote. Cavan-based Kingspan, a global insulation provider with revenue of €1.8bn last year, has already partnered with Climote in promoting smart energy solutions.

They recently worked together with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Electric Ireland to equip 2,100 Co Louth social housing homes with Climote system.

Irishman Ross Finegan, a co-founder of London-based Lonsdale Capital Partners, has also just taken a stake in Climote. Lonsdale acquired Irish publisher CJ Fallon in 2013 and sold it earlier this year to US private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

Filings for Climote show that both Mr Murtagh and Mr Finegan each paid just over €1,000 per ordinary share in Climote.

That compares to the €533 per share that was paid by investors who used a British Virgin Islands vehicle in 2013 to acquire a stake in the business.

Climote is a spin-off from a company called Smarthomes. Smarthomes was co-founded by businessman and former presidential candidate Sean Gallagher, and Derek Roddy.

Climote has won awards for its remote home heating control system. Householders have an electronic control panel fitted in their homes to replace existing thermostat. Users can then control their home heating from anywhere in the world, over a smartphone app, by SMS, or via a tablet or laptop for instance.

The premise is that householders can save money by more precisely controlling when their home heating and water heaters go on and off.

Irish Independent

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