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RSK acquires Headland Archaeology

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Engineering and technical services group RSK has acquired Headland Archaeology, the UK's leading privately-owned provider of heritage services to the construction sector, in a deal advised by BCMS.

Headland Archaeology is a provider of heritage services to the development and construction sectors. Its 170-strong team – which operates across offices in Edinburgh, Leeds, Bedfordshire and Hereford – has an in-depth understanding of commercial archaeology with practical experience of participating in major construction projects.

The acquisition of Headland Archaeology is RSK's 20th acquisition since 2016 and its 11th in the past 12 months and comes at a time when the archaeology and heritage sector is considered to be in the spotlight, with a wave of large-scale infrastructure schemes requiring such input and expertise. 

The acquisition is the latest under RSK's funding package from Ares Capital Europe and a revolving credit facility provided by NatWest, which was secured in December 2018. RSK now becomes one of the largest, most profitable providers of archaeological services in the UK by turnover.

RSK founder and chief executive Dr Alan Ryder said: "I am excited to welcome Headland Archaeology into RSK because, like us, their people and clients are at the core of what they are about. The success that the business has already seen is a testament to their leaders and all their employees. I am looking forward to what we can achieve together."

Headland Archaeology's current leadership team, including managing director Tim Holden, will join RSK and continue to drive the business forward as part of the group's environment and planning division under the direction of Sarah Mogford.

"This is a very exciting time for Headland Archaeology", added Holden. "We have differentiated ourselves in a market saturated by the not-for-profit sector to build a robust, commercial business that puts clients' needs first.

"Joining with RSK will further enhance the business, enable us to build on our strengths and provide our staff with new opportunities."

Headland was advised by BCMS with legal support from Morton Fraser. The price and terms are undisclosed.

BCMS Lead Advisor Mac Edwards commented: "Headland is a great business with a leading position in its niche, which made it an attractive addition for several groups. But RSK emerged early on as the favourite due to its experience in onboarding newly acquired businesses, and its exciting future plans for Headland. We were delighted to have been able to help and wish both parties well on their journey together."  

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Steve Murphy's picture
Posted Jun 2019
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