Al Gore's investment firm ups its stake in €1.8bn-valued Kingspan
Former US vice president Al Gore's investment group Generation has upped its stake in Gene Murtagh's green insulation firm Kingspan.
Generation Investment Management was in the market last week buying up shares and now owns an 11.05 per cent stake in the Cavan-headquartered firm. Generation is the second-largest shareholder in the €1.8bn-valued ISEQ-listed firm.
The latest buying spree snaps a trend where Generation had been trimming its stake over the last year. The fund offloaded around 1.5 million shares since June 2012, missing out on a major surge in the share price. Since January, Kingspan's share price has soared more than 25 percent. The Generation Investment Management stake is worth just under €200m.
Kingspan's share price has risen since its AGM in May, when it indicated a pick up in demand in some of its key European markets after a quiet start to the year.
Generation investment Management began investing in Kingspan back in 2009. It is sitting on major paper profits from its investment in Murtagh's fast-growing company, which provides low energy and green building materials to the construction sector.
Gore's partner in Generation Investment Management is former Goldman Sachs Asset Management chief David Blood, which has led to the firm being nicknamed "Blood and Gore". Former Irish President Mary Robinson has advised the firm.
Apart from the €200m stake in Kingspan, the investment group also owns large stakes in Becton Dickinson, Qualcomm, Jones Lang La Salle and Northern Trust.
Gore has thrown himself into business in recent years. Apart from chairing Generation Investment Management, he has also served on the board of Apple, advised Google and worked as a partner in IT venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Gore's global warming shocker film, An Inconvenient Truth, won an Oscar in 2007, while the Tennessee-born activist also shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the same year.