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Kingspan founder sells €30m stake


Kingspan’s Gene Murtagh

Kingspan’s Gene Murtagh

Jason Clarke Photography

Kingspan’s Gene Murtagh

Eugene Murtagh, the founder and chairman of Cavan-based insulation maker Kingspan, has sold €30m worth of shares in the group.

The huge sale leaves Mr Murtagh with a substantial holding in the company, however. According to its latest annual report published earlier this month, he retains just over 29 million shares, or nearly 16.3pc of the company following the share sale, making him the single biggest shareholder in the group.

That remaining stake is worth about €882m. Kingspan has a market capitalisation of €5.4bn. The chairman has also made more than €60m in dividends from the company over the years.

Kingspan declined to comment yesterday.

Shares in Kingspan have surged about 24pc in the past six months and were changing hands yesterday at about €30.50. During the depths of the country's financial crisis, they were trading at around €2.

A statement to the stock exchange yesterday noted that the Kingspan chairman sold one million shares at €30 each. The last time he sold a major tranche of shares was in 2012, when he offloaded €41m worth of stock. At that time, he sold 5.12 million shares at €8 each.

Mr Murtagh (74) co-founded Kingspan in Kingscourt in 1965 with his brother Brendan.

He grew the company into a major international player and was ceo until 2005.

Kingspan, whose ceo is now Mr Murtagh's son, Gene, has notched up strong growth in recent years. Last year, its profits soared 33pc to €341m. Revenue at the group climbed 12pc to €3.1bn.

Irish Independent