Scottish Daily Mail
Directors take £6m ahead of Grenfell inquiry
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
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 It emerged that Kingspan had withdrawn fire safety certificates which helped sell the type of foam insulation used on Grenfell just days before the inquiry began examining its conduct.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.