Environmental, engineering and technical services business RSK Group Limited (RSK) is close to acquiring the Water Europe and Water Asia businesses of Black & Veatch.

The deal, which is in its late stages and is expected to complete in early 2021, includes UK-based Black & Veatch Limited, Black & Veatch Hong Kong Limited and Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Limited in Singapore. The acquisition would include all the employees, contracts, leases and other assets of these entities and would see them move forward with existing management but under a new brand as Binnies. 

The addition of Binnies will increase the overall RSK headcount from 4300 to 5500 employees worldwide. It will expand the number of countries in which RSK is present from 27 to 31 and significantly add to RSK’s existing Asian footprint. Operations in Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam will be brought into the group, in addition to the Binnies’ offices throughout the UK.

Strengthening its presence in the water sector is a key strategic aim for RSK. The group also acquired the UK-based Water Research Centre (WRC) and its 350 employees last August and acquired Ireland-based water engineer Nicholas O’Dwyer and its 200 employees last March. 

The businesses that will make up Binnies are expected to add £160 million to RSK’s annual turnover, which has increased significantly in recent years from £147 million in 2018 to £287 million in 2020.

“This acquisition marks the most significant growth in our 31-year history, positions RSK as a market leader in the water sector and provides a springboard for RSK into the East Asian markets,” said RSK chief executive officer and founder Alan Ryder. “As climate change and biodiversity loss accelerate worldwide, water is becoming increasingly valuable. A key part of RSK’s climate agenda is to unleash the natural capital contained in clean water to help address and mitigate the flood risks that exist in so many parts of the world.

“The addition of Binnies to the group will greatly enhance RSK’s ability to address climate change, green growth and water and sanitation services at a global level through applied engineering excellence.”