RSK acquires water research centre

Aaron Morby 4 years ago
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Fast-expanding consultant RSK Group has strengthened its capabilities in the water sector with two key acquisitions.

RSK Group founder and CEO Alan Ryder keeps up the pace of bolt-on acquisitions
RSK Group founder and CEO Alan Ryder keeps up the pace of bolt-on acquisitions

The £250m turnover engineering and technical services group has bought the Water Research Centre and its subsidiary Cognica, marking the seventh and eighth acquisitions this year alone.

To date, RSK Group has acquired 35 businesses since 2016.

WRc boasts more than 90 years of delivering technical research and innovation services to the global water, waste management and energy sectors, while Cognica is a leading provider of intelligent information management solutions and services to construction and estate management markets.

RSK chief executive officer and founder Alan Ryder, said: “This is a unique acquisition for RSK that brings together an exceptional brand that is renowned for independent thinking and delivery to create an ability to address global issues including climate change, green growth and water and sanitation services through applied engineering excellence.”

Ryder plans to help WRc grow in the UK and to extend its global footprint, particularly in areas such as Africa and the Middle East where RSK already has a strong foothold in other sectors

WRc employs 170 staff at its Swindon base providing a host of services from leakage detection; water and wastewater management; flooding and sewers; environmental modelling; asset management and testing.

WRc and Cognica will continue to be led by WRc chief executive officer Mark Smith and will become part of RSK’s agriculture, land and property management division.

Overseas, WRc is currently designing the technical engineering work architecture for the water company that will service the NEOM futuristic desert city project in Saudi Arabia.

The two businesses are the latest acquisitions under RSK’s funding package from Ares Capital Europe and a revolving credit facility provided by NatWest announced in December 2018.

The businesses are RSK’s fourth and fifth acquisitions of the 2020/2021 financial year, following the acquisition of asbestos removal specialist PA Group and civil and structural engineering company RoC Consulting in July.

RSK acquisitions


  • 2016/2017: acquired three businesses: ADAS, Dynamic Sampling and JB Site Investigation.
  • 2017/2018: acquired seven firms: Acies, KMGP, Ian Farmer Associates, Cole Jarman, Up and Under Group, CJ Associates and RSKW.
  • 2018/2019: Twelve acquisitions: Central Alliance, Non Destructive Testing Services, Copeland Wedge Associates, Twig, CAN, PB Drilling, BTS Group, the TBF Contracting businesses, Drilling Supplies & Hire Services, Headland Archaeology, Dr Tillmanns & Partner and Pellings.
  • 2019/20: Ten acquisitions: Biocensus, Consents Solutions, RAW Technology, Geocore Site Investigations, Ecologia Environmental Solutions, ATP, Silcock Leedham Group, Salix, Nicholas O’Dwyer, Morrison Falklands
  • 2020/21: Ground Heat Installations, PA Group, RoC Consulting

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