RSK Group plc acquires ADAS to add agricultural and additional environmental services to its portfolio

December 06, 2016
  • This is an acquisition that presents synergistic growth opportunities for both businesses.
  • It provides RSK with new services to add to its existing environmental, engineering and technical support services business.
  • ADAS has more than 65 years’ experience of delivering national agricultural and environmental consultancy services concerned with two major issues of our time: securing food supply and enhancing the environment.


RSK has today announced that it has acquired the business, operating assets and employees engaged in the business of ADAS UK Ltd.

ADAS is the UK’s largest independent provider of agricultural and environmental consultancy, rural development services and policy advice. It has a unique combination of insight and practical experience underpinned by robust, informed, science-based information that enables it to meet the needs of its domestic and international clients. ADAS has a breadth and depth of expertise that spans the entire environmental sector, but with a heritage in agriculture. Its expertise is based on evidence underpinned by science. Its core disciplines focus on balancing profitable production with minimum environmental impact and reducing waste, water and energy use to ensure future sustainability.

The acquisition, announced today, will see the ADAS business, including about 300 employees located at more than 15 sites across the UK, transferring to RSK, where it will continue to operate under the leadership of Ian Strudwick, who becomes managing director of the business. Business Growth Fund has backed RSK in making the acquisition. The ADAS brand will be retained and the business will operate as a new company called RSK ADAS Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of RSK.

This acquisition makes RSK one of the biggest environmental consultancies in the country. It also provides a great opportunity to add new services to RSK’s portfolio, including expertise in land management, crop and food production, specialist chemical risk assessment and town planning. These services will add a new layer of skills to the organisation to the benefit of its clients.

According to last year’s UK industry Market Trends report, RSK ranked as the eighth overall environmental consultancy, the first for contaminated land/remediation and the fourth for environmental management and compliance. This latest acquisition will likely see RSK’s profile grow in the industry’s important rankings. RSK has acquired 12 environmental and analysis firms across Europe and the Middle East in the past decade and has seen impressive growth during that time that has helped to create a £100-million turnover business.

Today’s announcement marks a significant and extremely positive step in the development of the RSK and ADAS businesses that offers potential long-term benefits for clients and staff. The clients of RSK and ADAS are complementary: both businesses are extremely strong and highly respected in their core markets and provide high-quality scientific consultancy and technical advice to a wide range of clients in the private and public sectors.

RSK’s advisers were Dow Schofield Watts Transaction Services LLP (due diligence), Dow Schofield Watts Corporate Finance Ltd (corporate finance) and Memery Crystal LLP (legal).

Quote from Dr Alan Ryder, Chief Executive Officer, RSK Group plc: “I am delighted to join forces with ADAS. The company has extremely experienced and skilled people who share our common values. RSK and ADAS see food production, energy and the environment as the most important issues facing humanity, so we will work together to deliver the best solutions for our customers.”

Quote from Andrew Walker, Executive Director, ADAS: “The announcement of RSK’s acquisition of ADAS is very positive news for our business. It brings together two organisations that will, between them, offer an unrivalled breadth of expertise in the natural and built environment and that will be capable of delivering powerful solutions to our clients’ problems across the complete spectrum, from agriculture and the food chain to sustainable development, transport, energy and civil engineering.”

Quote from RSK’s Ian Strudwick, the new ADAS Managing Director: “I am looking forward to working with the ADAS management team to get the best out of the opportunities that present themselves through our two businesses joining forces. ADAS has an impressive heritage and track record, and employs many talented and dedicated people. My focus over the next 12 months will be to ensure that ADAS staff have the support they need to continue providing an excellent service to all ADAS and RSK’s clients.”

Quote from Neil Inskip BGF investor: “BGF exists to help ambitious businesses move forward with their growth plans. RSK group is a business of significant scale, built on a collection of niche expertise, and with clear ambitions for the future of the company. The funding also demonstrates BGF’s appetite to continue supporting local companies with global operations.”

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