RSK Group Ltd, a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services business, has today announced the acquisition of three new businesses: scientific, technical and strategic consulting company Amphos 21, and two businesses from engineering specialist the Pharos Group: Pharos Generator Services and Field Engineering Services (FES). This is RSK’s first acquisition announcement of 2021 and comes just weeks after the group announced that it was in the final stages of acquiring the 1200-employee-strong UK and Asia water businesses from Black & Veatch.
Headquartered in Spain, Amphos 21 has established operations in Spain (since 1994), Chile (founded in 2009) and Peru (founded in 2012). It was established in 1994 in Barcelona as a specialist scientific radioactive waste management consultancy. Today, the group has diversified to offer scientific and strategic environmental consulting in the nuclear, mining, water resources, sustainability and oil and gas sectors serving clients in over 20 countries. It currently has more than 180 employees.
In Spain, Amphos 21 works largely in the nuclear sector, offering services covering the whole nuclear-fuel cycle and the impacts associated with the presence of radioactive material in the environment. The main industry served in Peru and Chile is mining, with services focused on water management in mining operations.
The Pharos Group is a UK-based company providing state-of-the-art engineering and support services for the aerospace, automotive, telecommunications and electrical infrastructure sectors. RSK has acquired the group’s companies Pharos Generator Services, based in Cheshire and Bristol, and Leicester-based Pharos FES.
Pharos Generator Services has a team of engineers who jointly have over 60 years’ experience in the power generation industry specialising in the supply, installation, commissioning, repair and servicing of diesel backup and emergency power systems. The business provides a wealth of experience in the diesel-powered generation field and offers services for compressed air systems and electrical switchgear ranging from installation to service and maintenance. Key clients include the Ministry of Defence, BT, the NHS, police forces, fire services, facilities management companies and businesses in the private sector.
Pharos FES was established in 2003 and specialises in the specification and installation of standby power-generation plant. The business offers a full turnkey service, from the initial site survey, through design, project management and materials sourcing, to the completion of work. Pharos FES has carried out projects on behalf of BT throughout the UK, including at Dial House in Glasgow and at the BT exchange at Burne House, Paddington, London, following major flooding.
“I am delighted to welcome Amphos 21 and the Pharos businesses to RSK,” comments RSK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder Alan Ryder. “We are committed to growing and diversifying the group and offering comprehensive end-to-end solutions to our client base.”
Amphos 21 joins RSK’s European division under the direction of Nigel Board, Divisional Director and Chief Operating Officer. Lara Duro moves into Amphos 21’s CEO position while former CEO Jordi Bruno remains in the leadership team. The rest of the senior leadership team along with the entire workforce will stay with the business.
“Bringing Amphos 21 into the RSK group extends our geographical reach to include 140 employees in Chile and Peru who are already supporting the mining sector and have recently expanded operations to support major infrastructure projects,” comments Nigel Board. “We believe that RSK will be able to increase the services offered from these locations, thus enabling the growth and diversification of our business.
“Amphos 21 brings a step change in our delivery capability in the European nuclear sector with the specific expertise that they offer on radioactive waste management and storage.
“We anticipate a continued demand for various metals mined in South America to support battery technologies for electric vehicles, for example, that form part of the ongoing energy and travel revolution. Amphos 21 offers sophisticated groundwater modelling and other environmental services to many large mining companies: an area of growth for years to come.”
Lara Duro says, “Amphos 21 has always thrived thanks to the commitment and excellence of our team, put to the service of society and the environment through the projects that we develop for our clients. This has allowed us to grow organically for the last 25 years and diversify our market and client portfolio. Under the current global world, RSK offers a perfect platform of geographies, markets and skills to project our business beyond our own resources. We face a digital present, and a shaking future, but we are convinced that the integration of skills and knowledge of this alliance has the potential to ensure that societal and economic development is achieved under the highest standards of environmental protection. This is what our society needs and is what will boost our business present and future growth.”
Meanwhile, Pharos Generator Services and Pharos FES will join RSK’s geosciences and engineering division under the direction of George Tuckwell. Both companies will continue to be operated by the existing management teams, which include Keith Tyrrell, Lee McMurray, Richard Love, Paul Hyatt and Steve Chapman.
“Pharos Generator Services and FES are actively exploring new clean-fuel technologies, and with support from the wider RSK group, will continue the expansion of their services to include renewable technologies and battery standby power,” comments George Tuckwell. “This is a market that is expected to grow considerably as we move towards clean energy. Many organisations currently rely on diesel generators for backup power but we have an ambition to explore how renewables and battery storage might be a valued alternative in certain situations.”
Pharos Group Chairman Ray Apted adds, “RSK is a perfect fit to ensure the continuation and growth of the businesses in the years to come”.
Amphos 21, Pharos Generator Services and Pharos FES are the latest acquisitions under RSK’s funding package from Ares Capital Europe and a revolving credit facility provided by NatWest, as announced in December 2018. RSK is investing in the development of new businesses and bolt-on complementary businesses, as well as equipment and facilities, to provide end-to-end solutions to a wide, international client base. RSK has acquired nine businesses in the 2020/2021 financial year so far.
BHP Corporate Finance acted as lead advisors to the shareholders for the Pharos acquisitions.