Wednesday 13 December 2017

Al Gore fund trims its stake in Kingspan

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Former US vice-president and Oscar-winner Al Gore's private buyout fund, Generation Investment Management, (GIM) has trimmed its stake in Gene Murtagh's Cavan headquartered green insulation firm Kingspan.

Last week, GIM announced that it had sold off about 1.2 million shares, or a stake worth almost €8m.

Mr Gore's investment fund first started purchasing Kingspan shares in late 2008. It built up a 10 per cent stake by May 2009 before raising its interest to nearly 13 per cent. GIM is Kingspan's second-largest shareholder after founder Eugene Murtagh, who owns 30 million shares.

The investment by Mr Gore's fund has paid off spectacularly for the former US vice-president, as Kingspan's share price has jumped 50 per cent since the summer of 2008. Shares have slipped since the latest phase of the euro crisis erupted in March.

Mr Gore's London-based fund, which he co-founded with investment banker David Blood, has also been advised by former Irish President Mary Robinson. GIM raised €1.4bn from backers to invest in green and sustainable firms. It holds major stakes in the likes of eBay, Amazon and Colgate Palmolive.

Generation Investment Management also acts for the Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund, managing its global active equity fund.

Kingspan has been one of the country's most rip roaring success stories, having been started in the back of a pub in Kingscourt, Co Cavan, by Eugene Murtagh and his brother Brendan.

Despite hitting a few speedbumps on the way, the firm has developed into a major global player on the building insulation sector, having wowed the markets with a series of innovative "green" products.

Sunday Indo Business

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