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Engineering Firm Continues Acquisition Run with Latest Purchase


Environmental engineering firm RSK has acquired river restoration and erosion control specialists Salix in its ninth acquisition in the 2019-20 financial year.

Salix provides sustainable solutions to the challenges found in soil erosion control and river restoration projects. It also specialises in spillway and shoreline protection, inland dredging and wetland habitat creation schemes.

Salix’s approach complements the natural environment, adds to biodiversity and improves water quality. As a designer, constructor, manufacturer, distributor and grower rolled into one single company, its clients get a holistic, cost-effective service from one main source.

The 30-strong business has five offices in Thetford, Burton-on-Trent, Cheltenham, Swansea and Inverness.

In 2019, Salix was principal contractor on the ground-breaking River Nairn restoration project, which was a finalist for the UK River Prize. The project has already profoundly improved the river for wildlife.

Other recent projects have included the Yearl Weir riverbank stabilisation for United Utilities, a large-scale habitat creation project at Hoveton Broad in the Norfolk Broads for Natural England, and numerous river restoration projects for Affinity Water.

RSK Chief Executive Officer and founder Alan Ryder says:

“I am delighted to welcome Salix’s skilled and experienced workforce to RSK. Their services are an excellent complement to the group and will allow both businesses to expand their service offering.

“Bringing together our long histories of successful and sustainability focused projects and experience of delivering innovative solutions in a range of sectors will enable us to deliver added value to our combined client base.”

Salix will continue to be led by managing director David Holland, supported by construction director Pete Barlow and financial director Edward Raker. Salix will become part of RSK’s agricultural, land and property management division under the direction of Ian Strudwick.

“When I founded Salix 16 years ago, my core philosophy and ethos was to create an environmental business with strong sustainability principles that would lead the market in innovation for managing our rivers and wetlands.

“Our method is to combine ‘softer” solutions and to work with, rather than against, natural processes in a balanced way, and we see joining RSK as an opportunity to not only expand this approach but also to continue growing our business without having to sacrifice our culture and values,’’ says David Holland.

Ian Strudwick, RSK Agricultural, Land and Property Management Division Director, adds:

“Both Salix and RSK are underpinned by a strong ethos of supporting sustainable development and delivering low-carbon solutions. Salix’s ethos and services will be an asset to the division and the wider RSK group, and we look forward to collaborating with their experienced team.”

Salix is the latest acquisition under RSK’s funding package from Ares Capital Europe and a revolving credit facility provided by NatWest announced in December 2018. RSK is investing in the development of new businesses, bolt-on complementary businesses, equipment and capabilities to increase its services and expand internationally.

RSK now employs more than 3,600 staff in over 130 offices worldwide and has an annual turnover in excess of £250 million.