Series of deals have seen consultant’s UK workforce reach five figures

WSP has continued its buying spree with the acquisition of UK rival RPS Group in a deal worth £591m.

Just last week the consultancy giant announced the purchase of two businesses from Capita PLC for roughly £60m, which itself followed a deal for earth and infrastructure group Wood Group.


WSP Global reported revenue of $2.8bn in the second quarter, driven by double-digit growth in the UK

The addition of 5,000 staff from Oxford headquartered RPS, along with thousands more from the other deals, will take WSP’s UK workforce to around 14,000.

RPS, which was founded in 1970, operates across a range of sectors providing specialist services to government and the private sector.

Ken Lever, chairman of RPS, said WSP’s offer represented “a highly attractive premium to recent trading levels and provides certain value in cash today for RPS shareholders”.

>>> WSP makes double acquisition from Capita worth £60m

“The RPS directors also believe that the acquisition will provide career opportunities for our employees within the enlarged WSP Group as well as access to a comprehensive and expanded service offering for our clients,” he added.

WSP’s global president, Alexandre J. L’Heureux, said the deal was “strategically compelling” and would allow the firm provide a broader range of complementary services to clients “while building a world-class ESG advisory business”.

News of the acquisition came as the global firm posted its second quarter results, which saw revenue up 4% to $2.8bn (£2.3bn), driven by double-digit growth in the UK.

Pre-tax profit was down marginally compared with the second quarter of 2021, from $189.2m (£156.1m) to $170.2m (£140.5m).

This was attributed to office consolidation resulting in charges against leased assets, as well as high integration costs due to the firm’s recent purchases.