Scottish Daily Mail

Di­rec­tors take £6m ahead of Gren­fell in­quiry

- By Lizzie Deane Business · London · Ireland · London Stock Exchange

BOSSES at the com­pany which made in­su­la­tion used on Gren­fell Tower cashed in more than £6mil­lion of shares be­fore al­le­ga­tions about the firm were aired at the pub­lic in­quiry.

Three di­rec­tors of Kingspan sold their shares in the weeks be­fore the in­quiry heard ev­i­dence about the com­pany’s role in the fire which killed 72 in 2017.

Since then, the firm’s share price has fallen by more than 10 per cent.

The trans­ac­tions, re­leased by the news service of the Lon­don Stock Ex­change, show Kingspan’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Gene Murtagh made a £3.1mil­lion profit.

Two ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors, Gil­bert McCarthy and Peter Wil­son, made £1.8mil­lion and £1.6mil­lion re­spec­tively. The trades hap­pened in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber, be­fore the in­quiry started in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­su­la­tion man­u­fac­turer’s role in the dis­as­ter.

The shares were bought by the di­rec­tors for just 13 euro cents each, as part of bonus schemes in 2008 and 2017, and all sold for more than 76 eu­ros. From Novem­ber 5, the in­quiry heard ev­i­dence that Ire­land-based Kingspan and other com­pa­nies had ‘pushed haz­ardous prod­ucts into the mar­ket­place and sought to

‘Haz­ardous prod­ucts’

mar­ket them dis­hon­estly’. It emerged that Kingspan had with­drawn fire safety cer­tifi­cates which helped sell the type of foam in­su­la­tion used on Gren­fell just days be­fore the in­quiry be­gan ex­am­in­ing its con­duct.

It con­firmed that the ver­sion of the ma­te­rial tested was ‘not rep­re­sen­ta­tive’ of the prod­uct it had been sell­ing for al­most 15 years.

Karim Mus­silhy, whose un­cle He­sham Rah­man died in the fire, said he was out­raged by the rev­e­la­tions.

He told The Guardian: ‘Th­ese di­rec­tors, to this day, are still prof­it­ing from th­ese dan­ger­ous prod­ucts that should never have been out there in the mar­ket in the first place. £1.6mil­lion, £1.8mil­lion, £3.1mil­lion – it’s out­ra­geous.’

Kingspan has ad­mit­ted ‘process short­com­ings dur­ing the pe­riod of 2005 to 2014 for which it sin­cerely apol­o­gises’.

But it has stressed that the bulk of the in­su­la­tion was pro­vided by a ri­val man­u­fac­turer, Celo­tex, and said a failed fire test ‘means that the cladding sys­tem as a whole has failed and does not nec­es­sar­ily mean that there is a prob­lem with the in­su­la­tion’.

There is no sug­ges­tion that ei­ther the firm or the di­rec­tors have bro­ken any rules or laws.

Kingspan de­clined to com­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK