Wirral firm snaps up two businesses as part of expansion plan

Alan Ryder

Wirral based engineering firm RSK Group has acquired two new businesses.

The firm has gone on the acquisition trail over the last year backed by a £140m funding package.

And the Helsby based environmental and engineering services company has acquired Non Destructive Testing Services (NDT Services), an independent pile testing engineering company contracting to the construction sector and based near Nottingham.

It has also bought Copeland Wedge Associates (CWA), consulting civil and structural engineers based in central Birmingham.

NDT Services has been providing a wide range of testing services at building sites throughout the UK for over 29 years.

Its projects include various Airbus facilities, Wembley Stadium and the London Olympic Park.

CWA provides a range civil and structural engineering services for projects ranging from multimillion-pound developments to the niche engineering projects.

The company has worked on a wide range of projects including schools, colleges, police and fire stations, health and care centres, and hotel, retail and leisure facilities.

Both businesses, including NDT Services’ 20 staff members and CWA’s 39, will join RSK’s geosciences and engineering division headed by divisional director George Tuckwell.

The deals are the latest in a series of acquisitions by RSK.

These include the acquisition of Central Alliance Pre Construction Services in March, CJ Associates and Up and Under Group, and the merger with RSKW in January, and the acquisition of acoustics, noise and vibration consultancy Cole Jarman and site investigation services firm Ian Farmer Associates in November of last year.

Permira Debt Managers has backed RSK in making the acquisitions with a £140m funding package agreed in 2017 that will include about 10 acquisitions for the group.

RSK’s advisers on the latest deals were Dow Schofield Watts Transaction Services LLP (due diligence), Dow Schofield Watts Corporate Finance Ltd (corporate finance) and Memery Crystal LLP (legal).

The acquisition of NDT Services and CWA brings RSK’s headcount to over 2,300 in 85 offices worldwide.

The NDT Services and CWA businesses will continue to operate under their existing brands.

NDT Services directors John Purser and Andrew Martin will continue to head the company working alongside existing key NDT Services personnel.

Directors David Copeland, Jim O’Donnell and Steve Wedge will continue to lead CWA.

Steve Wedge, director of CWA, said, “The announcement of RSK’s acquisition of CWA is very positive news for our business. Combining our expertise with RSK’s considerable engineering strengths means we can grow and deliver ever more powerful solutions to meet our clients’ needs.”

Dr Alan Ryder, chief executive officer, RSK, said, “I am delighted to join forces with NDT Services and CWA. Both companies have extremely experienced and skilled people who share our common values. Our plan is to invest in the companies and help them to grow.

“RSK can now offer pile testing to complement our existing geotechnical and structural engineering expertise. And CWA will bring us better access to the Birmingham/West Midlands market and further enhance our engineering teams.”

John Purser, managing director of NDT Services, said, “The prospect of NDT Services moving forward with the support of RSK is exciting for staff, suppliers and clients alike. We feel that adding our specialist pile testing services to the RSK portfolio is a perfect fit that will enable the company to fulfil its potential within the industry.”

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