SCOTLAND’S largest independent forestry management business, RTS Ltd, has been subject to a management buy-out, in a move intended to secure its future and allow continued growth in the forestry and renewables sector.

The business, which is involved in harvesting, consultancy and estate management, has been bought out by directors Norman O’Neill, Harry Wilson and Ross Kennedy, supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

RTS Ltd began trading in 1984, and from humble husband and wife beginnings, Alan and Heather Robbins have grown the company to the point where it is now achieving a turnover in excess of £12 million and employing over 40 staff, with offices in Crieff and Aboyne, in addition to woodfuel processing facilities across Scotland.

Through its trading arm, RTS (Woodfuel), the company is also a significant player in the Scottish biomass industry, annually producing 40,000 tonnes of woodfuel for a wide range of clients.

Current managing director Mr Robbins will retain an active role in the company, remaining as chairman, while Mr O’Neill succeeds him as managing director.

Mr Robbins said: “This is an extremely exciting time for the business and we’re delighted to have secured the future of RTS in the long term with this MBO. Having worked side by side with Norman, Ross and Harry for many years we have the utmost confidence in their continued ability to deliver to our clients and grow the business.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff who have all contributed in taking the business forward significantly over recent years.”

Mr O’Neill said: “We are delighted to have acquired RTS from Alan and Heather Robbins and recognise their unstinting work in growing RTS Ltd to where it is today. We are particularly pleased that Alan has agreed to remain as chairman for a number of years to continue his contribution to our ongoing growth.”