Kingspan executive quits after confidentiality breach

Click to follow
The Independent Online
THE DEPUTY chairman of the Irish building products group, Kingspan, resigned yesterday after admitting that he could have been responsible for "a breach of confidentiality" in the run-up to yesterday's announcement of a pounds 37m agreed takeover of rival British group, Hewetson.

Brendan Murtagh, a co-founder of the company, tendered his resignation after the company investigated circumstances surrounding certain recent dealings in the shares of Hewetson by persons connected with Mr Murtagh.

The company said that Hewetson shares had been purchased by the wife of one of Mr Murtagh's sons, and by a close friend of another son, after the companies signed a confidentiality agreement in takeover talks in early November.

After Mr Murtagh became aware of the trades later in November he advised his sons to arrange for the sale of the shares. The board of Kingspan, who were informed of the trading on 10 December by company broker ABN Amro, reported the matter to the Takeover Panel and Stock Exchange.

"The board is satisfied that, while Mr Brendan Murtagh may inadvertently have disclosed confidential information to his sons, he did not encourage them to deal in Hewetson's shares, nor did he envisage that they would do so," Kingspan said yesterday.

Mr Murtagh, who owns about 8 per cent of the company, will continue as a marketing executive for Kingspan, but will no longer sit on the board.

By close of trading yesterday, shares in Hewetson had risen by 5 per cent to 195p, while shares in Kingspan had gained 5p to close at 165p.