To date, the growth of RSK has been funded by debt finance from venture capital firm Ares Capital Europe. Now it is looking to hand over a stake in the business.
RSK founder and chief executive Alan Ryder intends to increase turnover from £1.2bn this year to £5bn in 2030 and employee numbers from 12,000 to 40,000 at the same time.
“To fund this next stage of growth RSK will be undertaking a capital raise through a preferred equity instrument,” he said. “Ares has been an exceptional partner to us and I look forward to carrying on that relationship as we bring in new investment. The company is not just looking for financial investors, but also partners that have a tangible interest in the sustainability agenda and can work alongside existing shareholders in guiding RSK towards its 2030 vision.
“Relevant investors may include the likes of pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, private equity investors and alternative capital providers, amongst others.”
RSK’s turnover grew from £5m to £61m between 2001 and 2010 on the back of an early acquisition drive. In the year to April 2017– six years ago – RSK turned over £112m. That was the year it began its strategy of chasing turnover making dozens and dozens of acquisitions, mostly small-ish bolt-on boutique firms. It was also the last time it made a pre-tax profit.
Latest filed accounts show that in the year to 3rd April 2022 RSK made a pre-tax loss of £38.1m on turnover of £796m (2021: £18.9 loss on £350.5m turnover). RSK says that turnover for the year to April 2023 grew to £1.2bn.
Growth and acquisitions to reach the 2030 targets will now be focused overseas, Alan Ryder said.
“Our geographic growth strategy reflects the response we believe is crucial to address these critical challenges and how our business would need to respond to deliver these services,” he said. “Over the past 30 years we have created an enviable diversity of UK businesses operating in most sectors of the economy, including many of those most critical to future global sustainability, such as water, energy, food and drink, infrastructure, urban development, mining and waste. Our future growth strategy reflects our intention to now replicate that strength and diversity across the world.”