Superglass floats as insulation sales soar

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The Independent Online

Superglass, which makes glass wool used to insulate a quarter of the nation's lofts, is floating on the stock market today with a price tag of £105m.

The Scotland-based firm has experienced rapid and growing demand for its range of insulation products spurred by government initiatives to improve energy efficiency, and tougher building regulations.

Superglass, set up by chief executive John Smellie 20 years ago, makes glass wool for lofts and cavity insulation and other related heating and ventilation products from a purpose-built plant at Stirling.

The business was acquired by a venture capital group, the National Bank of Greece Investments, in 2005 for £38.5m. That stake has been sold to institutions in a share placing at 180p, raising £72.8m and valuing the company at £105m. Directors, including Mr Smellie, 58, own around 30 per cent.

He said: "We have spent £10m on expanding our factory over the past four years to meet demand and we are working to full capacity."

The cost of transporting bulky insulation materials has made it uneconomic for importers to break into the UK market, which is dominated by three players: Superglass, Knauf and BGI.

Superglass has doubled sales over the past four years to £41m in 2006, generating profits before charges of £10m.

* Norcros, the restructured household products group best known for Triton showers, is coming to the market with a value of £116m after a share placing at 78p.

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