RSK Group hits acquisition trail again with four bolt-ons

Dr Alan Ryder

Acquisition-hungry RSK, the Wirral-based integrated environmental, engineering and technical services consultancy, continues its strategic expansion with the addition of four businesses, for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisitions see RSK continuing to pursue its strategic aims of expanding its presence in the Asia-Pacific region and in continental Europe, and broadening the breadth and depth of services offered in the UK to deliver end-to-end solutions in-house.

The acquisitions are: UK planning and landscaping services provider Stephenson Halliday; UK chartered surveyor Waldrams; German geotechnical consultants Althoff & Lang GbR; and New Zealand risk management company Quality Solutions International (QSI).

Stephenson Halliday provides planning and landscape services to the development industry across the UK and Ireland.

With offices in Kendal, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Wetherby, and Wexford, Ireland, the 30-employee-strong business consists of a team of experienced planning and landscape directors, landscape architects, chartered planners, graphics specialists and practice managers, who provide effective and sustainable solutions to assist clients in realising their development aspirations.

Founded in 2001, the multidisciplinary business works across the energy, infrastructure, minerals, waste and built and rural development sectors and provides professional services across four broad categories – planning, environmental impact assessment (EIA), landscape, and graphics. The business will continue to be led by managing director Ken Halliday as it joins RSK’s growing environment and planning division, led by Sarah Mogford.

Based in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, but working on projects all over the world, QSI is a risk management company that specialises in the mitigation of risks resulting from the presence of landmines and other explosive hazards.

Since its inception in 2004, QSI has provided independent explosive hazard management services to clients confronted by landmines or other explosive remnants of war. Clients include government agencies, international humanitarian organisations and commercial entities from the oil, gas and mining sectors.

QSI has successfully provided services in Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Iraq, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. The business will continue to be led by managing director Hemi Morete as it joins RSK’s global division.

The acquisition of QSI marks the start of RSK’s journey into New Zealand, where it will explore further opportunities for growth by introducing many more RSK services to the region.

Waldrams is an industry-leading chartered surveyor that provides rights-of-light advice and analysis and reports on daylight and sunlight for developments.

The business is based in London and has 20 years’ experience in the field, providing advice and state-of-the-art computer modelling and analysis. Its suite of services ranges from advising on issues such as rights-of-light risks on development sites to preparing daylight and sunlight reports for planning applications and overshadowing studies.

Clients include Transport for London, Galliford Try and the University of Oxford. Managing director Michael Harper will continue to lead the business as it joins RSK’s environment and planning division.

Althoff & Lang GbR is based in Cologne, Germany. Founded in 1996, the business works nationwide, covering all areas of geological and geotechnical consulting.

It delivers projects across Germany for building sites, contaminated sites and buildings – the investigation of indoor polluting substances – urban developments, demolition and excavation planning, landfills and excavations.

The business will continue to be led by managing directors Ingo Althoff and Michael Lang as it joins RSK’s European division.

Alan Ryder, RSK chief executive and founder, said: “RSK has so many exciting things happening, with many more coming through the pipeline.

“The four businesses we are welcoming into the group today are markedly different in terms of service offering and the sectors in which they operate but they all share our group’s commitment to delivering progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. These are undoubtedly our greatest business drivers, as now, more than ever before, societies around the world are ready for change.

“Welcoming Stephenson Halliday into our business greatly advances our position in the UK planning and landscape market, an area where we expect to see growth over the coming years, particularly in relation to renewable energy, and Waldrams strengthens our offer in the property sector, specifically in urban environments.

“QSI marks the start of our journey into New Zealand, where we will explore further opportunities for growth by introducing many more RSK services to the region and Althoff & Lang greatly advances our position in Germany, a region where we expect to see significant growth in the years to come.”

Based on its current trajectory and strategy, the rapidly expanding Wirral group anticipates that by 2025 it will be delivering an annual turnover of £1bn and will employ 10,000 people around the world.

RSK is actively investing in the development of new businesses and bolt-on acquisitions, as well as equipment and facilities, to provide end-to-end solutions to a wide, international client base.