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RSK Group acquires CAN

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RSK Group Ltd, leading provider of engineering and environmental consultancy and technical support services, has acquired CAN UK Holdings Limited (CAN), a specialist UK geotechnical and engineering contractor. BCMS advised the shareholders of CAN on the transaction.

Based in Helsby, Cheshire, and with a turnover of £175m, RSK is the fifth-largest environmental consultancy in the UK, with 55 UK and 36 international offices. RSK Group is pursuing a dynamic acquisition strategy: CAN is its eleventh acquisition since the start the 2017/18 financial year.

First established in 1983, and headquartered in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, CAN specialises in difficult-access solutions. Its core areas of operation include geotechnical projects for slope and retaining wall stabilisation, and installing rock-fall protection measures, alongside structural repairs, inspection, testing and maintenance. With an established workforce of 250 and offices in Derbyshire, Kent and Bristol, CAN provides a nationwide service to the UK construction and civil engineering sectors.

Deal perspectives: RSK, CAN and BCMS

Commenting on the deal, Dr Alan Ryder, chief executive officer, RSK, said: "CAN's client base of principal contractors, specifically rail sector contractors, will complement other specialisms within RSK. Operationally, CAN has a large fleet of plant and facilities for modification and repair. These capabilities will directly benefit our ground investigation businesses for modifying, servicing and repairing rigs, and NDT Services for its pile test rig fabrication and hydraulic engineering."

Andy Wingfield, managing director of CAN, said: "In RSK, we believe we have found a like-minded group of people that share the values and ethos within the CAN family. CAN's acquisition by RSK is a fantastic springboard for growth, which brings together RSK's strengths in the early investigation and design stages of projects with CAN's track record in construction delivery across a wide range of sectors."

Neil Foster, commercial director of CAN, said: "When we started to look for a buyer, finding a company that really valued its people was a prerequisite. We are delighted that in RSK we have found a business where our fantastic staff will have not only security, but also great new opportunities as the company expands. Being part of a larger group with such a diverse range of complementary services will provide the perfect launchpad for the next phase in CAN's development."

BCMS' Douglas Edmunds, who led the transaction, added: "Whatever the sector, specialist businesses with a clear operational niche, committed clients, and strong market penetration will always be attractive to a range of acquirers. While there was some interest from ‘traditional' acquirers in the sector, the fit with RSK – in terms of synergy and culture – represented the best deal for our clients. This is a good example of a serial acquirer thinking beyond the obvious and making a strategic, complementary acquisition, as part of an on-going growth strategy. We're delighted to have played a role in bringing both parties together."

"It has been a pleasure to work alongside RSK and CAN, and it goes without saying we wish everyone involved every success for the future." 

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Posted Nov 2018
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