Kingspan says it is still keen on US roofing after failed Carlisle approach – The Irish Times


Kingspan, the Irish insulation maker, confirmed on Wednesday that it had held “informal discussions” with US construction materials manufacturer Carlisle Companies, but that there is currently “no active engagement” between the parties.

However, the Cavan group said that the North American roofing area, in which Carlisle specialises, “remains a key area of interest” for the business.

“Kingspan has admired Carlisle for many years and, recognising the clear strategic fit, had recent and informal discussions on a potential transaction,” said Kingspan, which is led by chief executive Gene Murtagh. “At present, there is no active engagement. The North American roofing space remains a key area of interest for Kingspan.”

Shares in Arizona-based Carlisle soared as much as 11 per cent on Wall Street on Monday as investors digested reports over the weekend that it had rebuffed overtures from Kingspan about a potential tie-up. However, the US company’s shares ended that session well off their highs to close 0.8 per cent higher, giving it a market value of $14 billion (€13 billion).

Kingspan’s shares have fallen by almost 5 per cent since the start of trading on Monday, reducing its market capitalisation to €12.7 billion, as investors speculated on whether the group would make another attempt at securing a deal – or find another US target.

Bloomberg, which first reported on the talks on Sunday, said that Carlisle had signalled to Kingspan that it would be open to reviewing a more attractive offer.

The Americas accounted for about 22 per cent of Kingspan’s revenue last year, compared with about 72 per cent from Europe.

A deal of the nature Kingspan proposed would also have likely led to the group seeking a primary stock listing in the US, which would deal another blow to Euronext Dublin, as the Irish Stock Exchange is now known.

Building materials giant CRH, the largest company on Dublin’s Iseq, is set to quit the Irish market later this month as part of a listings rejig that will see it move its main quotation from London to New York. Smurfit Kappa confirmed on Tuesday it plans to delist in Dublin as part of a $19 billion merger to acquire US paper packaging peer WestRock.

Meanwhile, Flutter Entertainment, the parent of Paddy Power, is widely expected to decide on a similar move soon, after securing shareholder approval earlier this year for a secondary US listing.