Founded over 30 years ago, PSU is a £6m revenue business boasting a loyal base of over 450 customers, with expertise in solution sales to the mid-market. A team of 38 staff, based in Cheltenham, PSU is led by owner and MD Nigel Davies who has been with the business for 20 years. A strong focus on quality and delivery of excellent customer satisfaction is central to the PSU strategy with an NPS score of 83 for the first half of 2020, which aligns perfectly with FluidOne, who achieved an NPS score of 80 for the same period.
Following an MBO in 2019, backed by leading mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge, coupled with an M&A facility from HSBC, FluidOne has an enviable war chest to support the acquisition of complementary service providers to align with its strategy to be the best quality Connected Cloud Solutions Provider to UK Businesses. PSU is its first acquisition under the leadership of industry veteran and CEO Russell Horton and with a strong pipeline of quality businesses, FluidOne is in a prime position to scale up over the next 4 years.
Commenting on the acquisition, Horton notes:
“Our vision at FluidOne is to become the best quality Connected Cloud Solutions Provider to UK Businesses. Taking our market leading connectivity services, delivered via our national fibre network Platform One, our strategy is to acquire quality businesses with skills in IT Services, Unified Communications and Advanced Security, and combine these with connectivity to help customers create multi-cloud and multi-connected environments that are secure and simple for them to use, whilst delivering a fantastic customer experience from end-user to application.
Having known Nigel for 9 years, I approached him late last year to discuss the opportunity, because, knowing PSU, I felt it would be a strong addition to our portfolio, with complementary services to help enhance our Connected Cloud solutions. The initial lockdown delayed our plans and I am very pleased that we were able to carry out detailed due diligence and a joint business planning exercise whilst working remotely. The customer and staff interviews reinforced what a high-quality business PSU is, with a strong solution set and staff who build great customer relationships and go the extra mile to solve their customer’s problems. I am excited to be working with Nigel and the PSU team to invest in and grow as our centre of expertise for IT Services and Unified Communications, cross-selling into the FluidOne customer base.”
FluidOne already has a diverse range of routes to market with Direct, Channel and Strategic Partners, delivering services via its award-winning national fibre network, Platform One. In Direct the focus is on mid-market multi-site businesses with 50-2,500 employees as these tend to have complex requirements that need a consultative approach and tailored solution sales, which plays to FluidOne’s strengths. PSU is an excellent fit for this mid-market offering with over 60% of its revenue generated by this segment, with customers taking an average of 3 or more product pillars, preferring a single supplier who can deliver end to end. Mid-market customers are often under-engaged and can receive poor service from larger suppliers, such as the carriers or large IT MSP’s, therefore FluidOne can differentiate as a high-quality trusted advisor which is strengthened by the acquisition of PSU.
Nigel Davies, MD at PSU, added:
“Like FluidOne, PSU is rooted in delivering a high-quality service and strong customer engagements via a loyal, expert team. Russell and the FluidOne board have ambitious plans and I am delighted that the PSU team’s skills and services are an excellent fit. When Russell approached me about the potential of acquiring PSU, it was clear that this partnership would be a real boost for PSU, providing greater opportunity for growth, investment and career development than we would have had alone.
They plan to cross-sell PSU solutions into the FluidOne customer base, complementing their existing connectivity services, with the aim to materially grow the PSU business unit moving forward. They also bring a wider choice and expertise in connectivity and mobile services for our PSU clients. The plan is to keep the team in Cheltenham and grow it as a centre of expertise for IT Services and Unified Communications. The PSU team will act as overlay sales for these services into the FluidOne base and lead the implementation and support of these services. I am staying with the business in the role of Technical Director for IT Services and am very much looking forward to working with Russell and the rest of the FluidOne team.”
FluidOne would like to extend thanks to their advisors Andrew Sproule Corporate Finance Director at BDO for financial due diligence, Arpinder Dhillon Corporate Partner at Harrison Clark Rickerbys for legal support and Patrick Woodrow Partner at Fairgrove for customer due diligence.