Engineering firm Ramboll UK has bought services engineer RYB Konsult for an undisclosed sum in what the company promises will be the first in a string of acquisitions

The news comes in the week Mark Whitby and Mike Crane stepped down as respective chair and chief executive of Ramboll, formerly known as Ramboll Whitbybird, completing the handover of the reins to managing director Charles McBeath.

McBeath told Building that the purchase of the £2.7m-turnover RYB, a London-based renewables specialist, was part of an expansion policy that it hoped would make Ramboll, which is a subsidiary of Danish parent Ramboll Group, one of the biggest consultant engineers in the UK.

He said: “What Ramboll Group would like us to do is become one of the top three consultants in the UK. It has done that already in the Nordic countries.

“It is looking for growth organically and by acquisition. We’ve always grown organically so that’s quite new for us. RYB is our first step into that. There will be more.”

He added that the firm was looking to boost its capability in areas including waste, energy, district heating and offshore wind. Notably, McBeath did not rule out entry into the nuclear new-build market – something Whitby had opposed.

RYB is our first step into growing by acquisition. There will be more

Charles McBeath, Ramboll UK

McBeath has been managing director since 1 July, but Whitby and Crane stayed on in their roles until this week. They will now act as consultants to the firm.

Crispin Matson, director of 25-strong RYB, becomes UK director of building services at Ramboll.

He said: “Increasingly we are finding that clients want to go for the full team all under one banner. By joining Ramboll, we can maximise that kind of work.”

Matson added that the firm, which is involved in projects in Egypt and Nigeria, would strengthen Ramboll’s African presence.

RYB’s portfolio

  • The Ark, Hammersmith, London (pictured, above)
  • Euston Travelodge, London
  • Bermondsey Square hotel, London
  • British embassy, Kampala, Uganda
  • T5 Hilton (on site)
  • Dublin criminal court complex (on site)

Chasing the big three …

UK fee income (£m)
1 Atkins - 1,027
2 Mouchel - 593
3 Jacobs - 402
47 Ramboll UK - 33

(from Building’s top 250 consultants 2008)