Leading Teesside chemical and gas inspection services company R & A Kay (Rak) has been acquired by BES Group in a deal which sees the 40-strong Stockon-on-Tees and Middlesbrough teams join forces with the end-to-end risk management solutions specialist.

Rak was originally formed in 1984, before its acquisition by Executive Chairman Duncan Jarrett in 2007, and provides inspection services for the onshore oil and gas, petrochemical, industrial gases, chemicals and utilities sectors, across the UK and Europe. The team has built a solid reputation with some of the most skilled and experienced engineers in the country.

As part of BES Group, Rak will continue to support their customers – which include organisations such as Shell, Esso, BP and the National Grid – with the very best risk management solutions.

BES Group approached Rak in December 2023 as part of a continued acquisition strategy, which has seen the business – backed by mid-market private equity firm, Inflexion – acquire nine companies over the past 20 months.

John Campbell BES Group Chief Executive Officer commented on the purchase: “Rak Inspection Services is another fantastic addition to our company.  Growth by acquisition is important to us at BES Group and we are focused on welcoming businesses that support our customers’ needs with industry-leading teams and solutions.  We are confident we have done just that with Rak.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Phil Jackson, Managing Director of Rak Inspection Services said: “We’ve had a really exciting time as Rak Inspection Services over recent years and are now looking to take the next step in our growth journey.  As part of BES Group, we know we will be able to build on everything we have achieved so far, helping keep even more businesses safe and legally compliant with our specialist services.”

Rak sought the advice of David Wilson, Corporate Finance Partner for Armstrong Watson in the North East and Cumbria to assist with the preparation, evaluation and negotiation of the sale, alongside legal advisor Martin McKinnell of The Endeavour Partnership.

Lead Corporate Finance adviser David Wilson of Armstrong Watson said: “Rak is a hugely impressive, North East business and we were delighted to work with the team and The Endeavour Partnership to deliver this significant transaction.  The acquisition by BES Group allows Rak to build on its ongoing growth and we wish the team the best of luck and look forward to following their progress”

Martin McKinnell of The Endeavour Partnership and Rak’s Legal Advisor added: “Having acted for Rak since dealing with the original acquisition back in 2007, it has been a pleasure to support them and their shareholders through this sale process, working closely with Armstrong Watson. This deal opens up fantastic opportunities for the company and its management team, and I’m excited to see how they will thrive as part of the BES Group.”

Both Phil Jackson, Managing Director, and Ian Chapman, Senior Finance Manager, will remain in the business to oversee the future growth of the business.