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FluidOne refinances to support growth ambitions

Channel player aims to treble the business in the next five years and reveals a fresh partnership to fund that ambition

Connect cloud player FluidOne has refinanced the business to get the firm into a position to achieve significant growth in the next few years.

The firm is looking to treble in size in five years, and has agreed a package with Pemberton Asset Management to lay down long-term refinancing for the business.

As a result, the package includes funds for M&A activity to help grow the business, with FluidOne indicating it has plans to acquire on a regular basis going forward.

The firm last dipped its toes in the M&A waters earlier this year with a move in march for SureCloud Cyber Services, which came on the heels k of a move back in December, when it picked up Brighton-based Computer and Network Consultants to add more southern-managed service coverage.

The idea of tripling the business probably won’t daunt the firm, which has managed to quadruple its operations since it got backing from Livingbridge in 2019, which supported an MBO led by CEO Russell Horton.

FluidOne has grown to revenues of £109m, making eight acquisitions to fuel that growth and position the firm as a leading security-focused MSP.

Those acquisitions have fuelled growth, and in the past couple of years it picked up Highlander Computing, Objective, Marathon and managed SD-WAN player SAS Global Communications. The theme of its acquisitions has been to add more technology expertise to bolster a managed services offering, as well as adding more UK coverage and industry expertise.


Horton said the relationship with Pemberton and the refinancing would enable the business to start its next phase of growth and expand significant over the next five years. “To support our ambitious plans, we ran a process to seek a refinance package that would give flexibility and facilities to support us over the long term,” he said.

“During this competitive process, Pemberton stood out as the ideal partner given how their expert team engaged to devise a tailored package to fit our requirements and due to their track record of supporting high-growth, evolving businesses.” 

Horton indicated there would not be much of a wait to see the first fruits of the partnership, with plans already underway to expand the business further.

“We have our next acquisition in process that will be the first deployment of our new facility, and a pipeline of follow-on targets that fit our Connected Cloud Solutions strategy,” he said.

Simon Hollingsworth, partner at Livingbridge, said the ambition since its first investment had always been to support growth.

“The new debt facility provides the scale and flexibility we were seeking to support the next phase of growth for FluidOne in an exciting growth market,” he said. “The strategy since investment with Russell and the team has been to build critical capability in the highest value, next-generation product sets to make FluidOne the leading UK IT and cyber managed service provider.”

From a Pemberton point of view, Richard Meehan, managing director of origination at the investment player, said it recognised the potential of the FluidOne business. “Pemberton has considerable experience in the IT services market and view the business to be ideally positioned to benefit from continued strong demand for cloud and cyber security services,” he said. “We also look forward to helping the company execute on its ambitious acquisition strategy, with a number of near-term targets already well progressed.”

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