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EMC advises on sale of Surrey acoustics consultancy

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29th Nov

A Surrey-based acoustics consultancy which has carried out major projects at Granada TV studios, The Royal London and St Bart’s Hospitals, and the Tsvetnoy Central Market shopping mall in Moscow, has been sold in a deal advised on by EMC Corporate Finance.

Cole Jarman, which has its head office in Addlestone and a regional office in Manchester, has been acquired by RSK Group PLC, a £100m turnover environmental, health, safety and engineering services company.

The acquisition sees the Cole Jarman business, including its 16 employees, transferring to RSK, where it will continue to operate under the leadership of Managing Director Philip Hankin. It will become a key part of RSK’s Environment and Planning division, operating as Cole Jarman, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RSK.

Permira Debt Managers has backed RSK in making the acquisition as part of a £140m funding package agreed earlier this year, to include around 10 acquisitions for the group.

EMC CEO Nik Askaroff, who led the team advising the Cole Jarman shareholders, said: “The deal offers great benefits and opportunities to both businesses. Each are extremely strong and highly respected in their core markets and provide high-quality scientific consultancy and technical engineering advice to a wide range of largely complementary clients in the private and public sectors.

“Cole Jarman has been carrying out acoustic, noise and vibration assessments since 1993 and is firmly established as one of the UK’s top acoustic consultancy specialists.

“By joining RSK, it has a great opportunity to further grow an already impressive client base that spans a variety of sectors including culture, media and entertainment, education, healthcare, infrastructure, leisure, office, place of worship, residential, retail and transport.

“For RSK, the acquisition expands its footprint as one of the biggest environmental consultancies in the UK. It also adds important new services to its portfolio, including expertise in noise and vibration assessments, and brings a new layer of skills to the organisation to the benefit of its clients.”

Vernon Cole, Founder Director of Cole Jarman said: “Becoming part of the RSK Group extends our influence and reach considerably and is a great match. All of our clients stand to benefit from access to a wider set of complementary services and access to an even wider pool of experts to deliver outstanding projects that will enhance the way we work and live around the world for many years to come.”

Dr Alan Ryder, Chief Executive Officer, RSK Group added: “I am delighted to join forces with Cole Jarman. The company has a world-class reputation for essential work on many high profile projects and its skilled, experience and professional staff share our vision for the future.

“RSK and Cole Jarman believe playing an integral part in the delivery of the highest quality buildings from the planning stage onwards will enhance our environments and economies. We also put our customers first and establish a really detailed understanding of what they want and need from the outset. So this is a very welcome addition indeed to the group.”

Cole Jarman’s acoustic design and testing services in the UK have been used in projects as diverse as the new set and sound stages for the production of ITV Granada’s Coronation Street; the redevelopment of The Royal London and St Bart’s Hospitals; noise data studies at Biggin Hill, Coventry and Nottingham East Midlands Airports; noise assessments for planning and building of Sainsbury’s supermarkets and Domino’s Pizza restaurants; impact assessments for East Lindsey Onshore Wind Farms and noise at work assessment for Ford engine testing facilities at Dagenham.

Its overseas projects cover noise and impact assessments for everything from the Armani Theatre in Milan and San Pellegrino Theatre in Italy, to the Athens Metro in Greece; the Tsvetnoy Central Market shopping mall in Moscow; the giant residential and commercial office space project The Gate in Doha; to over 200 projects for various multiplex cinema operators around the world.

As well as EMC, the Cole Jarman shareholders were advised by Mark Whittaker of lawyers Gunnercook. 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).

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