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Kingspan set for a shopping spree

INSULATION group Kingspan promised shareholders a major acquisition early next year. Speaking at this week's AGM, chief-executive Gene Murtagh told shareholders to expect a big deal in the first half of 2012 rather than later this year.

Kingspan's acquisition record is a decidedly mixed one. It paid $111m (€78.6m) for Metecno's US arm in 2008, while last year it shelled out €120m for CRH's European insulation business. While the jury is still out on these two acquisitions, it is a different story with Kingspan's acquisition of US flooring company Tate for $120m (€85m) in 2001, when just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

The ink was barely dry on the transaction before the previous Tate owners upped and left, taking most of their customers with them. While Kingspan eventually successfully sued the vendors, the entire episode remains a textbook example of how not to conduct a major acquisition.

Top on the list of possible Kingpsan acquisitions must be Reticel, which turned down a €240m offer from the Irish company already.

Sunday Indo Business