Thursday, December 17, 2020

Remorse or a rat deserting a sinking ship?

Managing director of Kingspan’s insulation boards division and as a director of the plc, Peter Wilson will stand down.

Wilson was in charge of the insulation division since 2001, during which time it launched Kooltherm K15, a plastic foam insulation used on the Grenfell tower. Kingspan tested the foam in fire in 2005 and it passed, but then changed the chemical composition which made it more flammable, the public inquiry into the disaster heard. However, it continued to use the previous test pass and said it was safe for tall buildings.

Kingspan has an annual turnover of €3.5bn and its share price has fallen 15% in the last month. Shortly before evidence about Kingspan was revealed at the public inquiry, triggering a share price fall, Wilson sold share options worth £1.6m, sparking anger among bereaved and survivors. 

Gene Murtagh, the chief executive and Gilbert McCarthy, another director, also sold shares worth £3.1m and £1.8m respectively.

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