FluidOne announces investment in Microsoft Gold Partner, Marathon

FluidOne, market-leading provider of Connected Cloud solutions, today announced a strategic investment in Marathon Information Technology Services Ltd (Marathon), a Microsoft Gold Partner for Cloud Services Management, specialising in cloud transformation, modern workplace, security and contact centre, to enhance its service offering to mid-market and enterprise customers.

Marathon has established a great reputation for service and technical expertise since it was founded in 2010 by CTO Paul Hepburn. Ten years later CEO Iain Maclean and Chairman Tim Thrower invested via a management buy-in as they realised the business was a great platform to build out cloud-managed IT services to enterprise clients.

Since then, with Hepburn and the Marathon team, Maclean has led the business to grow from a £4m to £11m revenue business, with 80 staff delivering IT managed services to enterprise clients with up to 17,000 employees, including multi-nationals. The company prides itself on delivering high levels of customer satisfaction and a strong staff culture firmly aligning with FluidOne’s values and market-leading NPS of 85 for April 2022.

Maclean has ambitious growth plans and the investment from FluidOne creates a partnership that broadens Marathon’s offering to its clients. It also provides the expertise to deliver service to FluidOne’s segment of clients that are over 200 employees, which is a major opportunity for both companies and plays a key part in FluidOne’s Connected Cloud solutions strategy.

The investment in Marathon follows the acquisition of SAS Global Communications in December 2021, a managed SD-WAN network provider with a focus on enterprise customers, and the acquisition of PSU Business Technology Limited (PSU) in October 2020, which included skills in IT Managed Services and Unified Communications, and the investment in Cyber Security Associates Ltd (CSA) in November 2020, a dedicated cyber security consultancy and managed services specialist. This has created a £68m revenue group with 310 staff serving more than 1,350 customers and resellers.

Maclean will continue to lead Marathon as CEO, with Tim Thrower as a non-executive director. FluidOne’s CEO, Russell Horton, is to become Chairman of Marathon, with the FluidOne Directors Brendan Lynch, Chris Rogers and Roy Hastings also joining the Marathon Board.

The investment into Marathon was supported by FluidOne backers Livingbridge and HSBC, with HSBC increasing its support to FluidOne through a refreshed facility that provides capacity for further acquisitions over the next three years.

Commenting on the investment, FluidOne CEO, Russell Horton said: “Through the investment process, we met key members of the Marathon team and referenced their top clients, and have been impressed with their expertise, values, and the outstanding level of service they deliver. Marathon’s strength lies in the design and transformation of enterprise clients’ IT estates into the cloud and the provision of a quality managed service from 1st line through to 3rd line. The FluidOne Board and I saw a great fit to further enhance our Connected Cloud solutions strategy. Investing in Marathon, backing Iain and his team, allows us to complete the IT element of our Connected Cloud solutions portfolio, alongside our market-leading connectivity, mobile, UCaaS and cyber security. When combined with our IT capabilities from the acquisitions of PSU and SAS Global, we are now able to serve our entire customer base, including our largest multinational customers.

The Marathon team has already been working with FluidOne on joint opportunities and impressed our clients with their level of expertise and professional approach. I look forward to working with Iain and the Marathon team, and I am excited at the opportunities that our combined capabilities give us to support our ambitious growth plans and to serve our customers.”

Iain Maclean said: “We’re proud of what we’ve built at Marathon and it was time for us to take things to the next stage. We saw a great opportunity in FluidOne’s investment to support our ambitious growth plans allowing us to expand our service offering to our current client base whilst also reaching new customers. It was important for us to partner with a company that aligned with our own culture and values.

Our top priority has always been to deliver a high level of service, which we’ll continue to do for both our current clients and new ones. It’s been a pleasure to get to know the FluidOne team throughout the investment process, and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

Danielle Hook, Senior Director, HSBC Leveraged Finance said: “HSBC has been working with the FluidOne team since 2019, as they’ve grown the business and executed on their Connected Cloud strategy. We are delighted to be able to extend our relationship to support FluidOne with its ambitious plans for further growth, including the continuation of its buy-and-build M&A activities.”

About Marathon Information Technology Services Ltd

Established in 2010, Marathon aims to set the standard for business IT by combining its people’s passion and know-how with the best technology available. Focusing on what they do best means that customers are free to focus on what they do best. Marathon experts can help customers to Transform, Manage and Secure their business one piece of technology at a time, through to a fully outsourced managed service.

Marathon is a Microsoft Gold Partner, holds ISO 27001 and ISO 9001, as well as being the first organisation in the UK to qualify under the Police Digital Security Centre scheme. They are a Microsoft Cosell Partner and Cyber Essentials accredited assessor.

Visit Marathon at www.marathon-ms.com

Visit FluidOne at www.fluidone.com