RSK Group to acquire Black & Veatch’s Water Europe and Water Asia businesses

AdobeStock 65126847The RSK Group Limited (RSK), an international environment, engineering and technical services-based business, headquartered in the UK, has confirmed that it is in late stages of acquiring Black & Veatch Limited, UK; Black & Veatch Hong Kong Limited and Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Limited, Singapore

The deal is expected to be completed in early 2021, and includes the transfer of all the employees, contracts, leases and other assets of the three entities. The three businesses will be moving forward, with existing management and employees, but under a new brand name, Binnies. They will continue to work on sustainable and resilient water, wastewater and flood resilience projects.

The addition of Binnies, will increase the overall headcount of RSK Group to 5500, from 4300. The company is also looking forward to expand its footprints across Asia, with new offices in Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The RSK Group had also acquired UK-based Water Research Centre (WRc) and its 350 employees last August, and the Ireland-based water engineer Nicholas O’Dwyer and its 200 employees last March; making acquisitions a strategic and significant aim for strengthening its presence in the water sector.

The businesses that will make up Binnies are expected to add US$ 212mn to RSK’s annual turnover, which has increased significantly in recent years from US$195mn in 2018, to US$380mn in 2020.

Alan Ryder, CEO and founder of RSK, said, “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," he added.

He further stated, “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,” he added.

Scott Aitken, managing director of Binnies in Europe, said, “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.” 

Andy Kwok, managing director of Binnies in Hong Kong, stated, “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.” 

William Yong, managing director of Binnies in Singapore, noted, “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,” he added.

The RSK Group aims to become the largest privately-owned environmental and engineering business in Europe by 2025, with 10,000 employees and an annual turn over of US$1.3bn.

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