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RSK's acquisition of STATS pushes them up the UK's geotechnical consultant table

RSK group has moved up the UK's geotechnical consultant table (by turnover) after it acquired 130-strong firm STATS.

STATS is the UK's eighteenth largest geotechnical consultant with a turnover of £4.5M, according to responses listed in GE's Geotechnical Services File 2007. RSK had been in seventh place with £15.3M, and the combination of the two firms potentially puts it in second place with £19.8M, above Arup on £18.4M and behind RPS Group which has a turnover of £25M.

"This is the second largest acquisition in RSK's history and represents a major statement of intent for us moving forward," said RSK chairman Alan Ryder. "We've strengthened our capabilities across the board and brought in services that we have never had before. STATS will be instrumental to our continued growth and success."

RSK said it was particularly attracted by STATS "cutting edge" geophysical survey capability, which includes lab analysis of rock and concrete from the Centre for Stone and Slate technology. RSK said the deal will enable it to provide a one-stop shop of environmental services for major clients.

"We have been talking to STATS for a number of years now because we are two firms with a similar sort of ethos," said RSK deputy chairman Peter Witherington. "It's very strong on building materials and has a very good geophysics group. It will mean that we can now provide services that were previously subcontracted such as chemical testing, while they can benefit from our structural soils and drilling services which they would otherwise have subcontracted. We can now keep everything within one group."

Initially there will be no operational impact on STATS, added Witherington, who said that the purchase was made with a mixture of cash and shares.

"We have a very cautious approach to integration. It's more about seeing how the two organisations work and it's only as we get to know each other better that we will then work out how best to integrate the businesses.

"It's very unlikely there will be any cuts in staff or office closures. We can only see an opportunity for growth."

STATS director Shon Williams told GE: "We are a much bigger company now, offering a much wider range of services which means we can work with bigger clients and the bigger projects. It gives our staff a lot more opportunities."

STATS managing director Fergus Collie said: "Companies are changing the way they procure services and we needed to adapt to that."

The deal follows six other acquisitions last year, as well as the Buildings Services Group in January which has boosted RSK's staff to 880 in 39 countries.

Witherington promised more activity in the coming year with two more acquisitions in the pipeline.

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