Business Irish

Saturday 18 November 2017

'Insolvent' Kingspan director sells most of stock for €24.6m

Joe Brennan and John Mulligan

Kingspan director Brendan Murtagh, who told the High Court last month he is "insolvent", has sold virtually all of his remaining stake in the building materials company for €24.6m.

The shares had been pledged to Anglo Irish Bank as guarantees, according to documents filed recently with the court.

A stock market filing yesterday showed that Mr Murtagh now hold only 132,879 shares in the company founded and chaired by his brother Eugene Murtagh -- valued at less than €731,000. Mr Murtagh and two other businessmen involved in property group Howard Holdings are being pursued for €28.1m by investors related to Polish property deals.

All three have total judgments for more than €60m entered against them.

A statement of his assets filed with the court showed he has net liabilities of more than €350m. Counsel for Mr Murtagh had earlier told the court he was insolvent.

Telco

In 2006, Mr Murtagh took control of troubled telco Smart Telcom, which went into examinership last August before being bought out by Dundalk-based rival Digiweb.

The Cavan businessman and his brother, Eugene, and nephew, Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh, also lost out after the group scrapped its final dividend last week, after the group's pre-tax profit dropped 17pc to €56.7m. Sales had fell by a third to €1.12bn in what the company called "hostile economic conditions".

Brendan Murtagh raised some €48m two-and-a-half years' ago by selling 2.4 million shares in the group. He generated a further €2.3m from a stock sale last year.

Shares in Kingspan jumped 4.2pc yesterday to €5.87 as investors cheered the successful placement of the stock, which had been considered as something of an "overhang" in the market.

Irish Independent

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