The RSK Group, a UK-headquartered international environmental, engineering and technical services business, is in late stages of agreeing the acquisition of Black & Veatch’s Water Europe and Water Asia businesses. These include UK-based Black & Veatch Limited, Black & Veatch Hong Kong Limited and Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Limited in Singapore.
The deal is expected to complete in early 2021 and includes all the employees, contracts, leases and other assets of these entities. These award-winning businesses will move forwards, continuing to provide sustainable and resilient water, wastewater and flood resilience projects, with existing management and employees 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.
The deal is expected to complete in early 2021 and includes all the employees, contracts, leases and other assets of these entities
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.
RSK chief executive officer and founder Alan Ryder says: “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.
“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.”
“Binnies brings incredibly valuable specialist expertise in all areas of the water utility sector; flood and coastal defence planning and design; specialist environmental services; digital and data services; construction management and commissioning; and operations, thereby bringing a true end-to-end client service offering.
“The combination of RSK’s environmental, scientific and engineering capabilities and global presence with Binnies’ expertise in water utility, flood and coastal and environmental services will enable our group to deliver ever more sustainable water and environmental solutions.”
Managing Director of Binnies in Europe Scott Aitken says: “The environment we live in is facing considerable challenges, so our clients are seeking sustainable, resilient and affordable solutions to meet these challenges. Our water environment is a very precious resource. I am delighted with the acquisition by RSK of what will become the new Binnies business, an RSK-owned company, and how, with the combination of technical excellence, leading digital technology capability and end-to-end service offering, we will be at the forefront of assisting our clients solve these complex challenges efficiently and effectively.”
Managing Director of Binnies in Hong Kong Andy Kwok says: “Our Hong Kong water business has a decades-long track record of award-winning projects in the territory across a range of flood protection, water treatment works, sewage treatment works and, most recently, the first reverse osmosis desalination plant in Hong Kong. These past, and similar future, projects will certainly add value to RSK’s climate agenda.”
Managing Director of Binnies in Singapore, William Yong, says: “Most of you may recall that Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Limited in Singapore operated as Binnie & Partners Singapore for several decades before 1995 and provided unrivalled engineering services in the water and wastewater sector to many countries in the region. The acquisition of Binnies by RSK not only continues this legacy of serving the community in the region with what it is best known for but also offers new environmental services that the RSK group brings to its clients all over the world.
“This is game changing for our business in Singapore and the Philippines. I look forward to working with our clients and partners to leverage this new partnership and contribute to a better world for generations to come.”
RSK continues to work towards its 2025 growth and diversification ambition: to become the largest privately owned environmental and engineering business in Europe, to employ 10,000 people and to turn over £1 billion annually.