Sponsored By

Evergreen Services Group Acquires UK-Based The Final Step

Evergreen Services Group checked off all the boxes with acquisition of The Final Step, its first M&A deal in the U.K.

Jeff O'Heir

September 15, 2023

3 Min Read
Evergreen Services Group acquisition
NESPIX/Shutterstock

For Craig Fulton, it’s more than a coincidence that The Final Step, Evergreen Services Group’s first MSP acquisition in the U.K., happens to be at Evergreen House North in London.

“I had been telling people inside Evergreen that when we acquired a company, it would be a dream of mine to go to The Final Step,” said Fulton, an advisor at Evergreen who worked closely on the deal. “They kept hearing it more like a call to action than the name of a company. It was great that everything came together so quickly. The Final Step is a phenomenal company.”

Fulton-Craig_ConnectWise-1.jpg

Evergreen Services Group’s Craig Fulton

Fulton first met the company’s owner and managing director, Raja Pagadala, in 2009, when he was working with ConnectWise and facilitating one of its IT Nation user groups in England. Pagadala had also served on advisory boards at ConnectWise, Datto and others. Over the years, the two became close.

“I developed a personal relationship with Raja, and I understood the business, its culture and how they manage people,” said Fulton, who joined Evergreen shortly after leaving ConnectWise in January. “The Final Step felt like Evergreen and the way we do business. It’s such a tight fit. It’s more than just an acquisition of a business in Evergreen. It was very strategic. We feel it’s a great landing place for us.”

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

Evergreen has 65 companies in North America and was looking to leverage new opportunities in the U.K. M&A activity is limited there, with only about two large platform companies doing most of the buying, Fulton said, adding that the timing was also right. The Final Step’s business model, strong finances, veteran management team, reputation in the industry and focus on professional services clients made it an extremely strong target.

“My job is to help my clients understand the value of IT and turn it into a real competitive edge,” Pagadala said. “I tell my people that I’m not interested in making a sale next week, next month, or next quarter. I’m interested in the client being a client in five, 10, 20 years’ time.”

Fulton Says ‘Stars Aligned’ with Evergreen Services Group Acquisition

Fulton believed Evergreen Services Group’s decentralized operations model, and practice of retaining its MSPs’ brand and key management, would appeal to Pagadala. The Final Step, No. 362 on the Channel Futures MSP 501 2023 ranking of the world’s top managed service providers, has extremely low customer and employee turnover, said Pagadala, who has run the company for 36 years.

Luisa Marques, for example, started at the company in 2006 as an administrator and is now replacing Pagadala as managing director as he takes on fewer day-to-day responsibilities to spend more time with his family. Simon Heath, The Final Step’s director, has been with the MSP nearly 30 years. Several senior technicians have been with the company for more than 18 years.

The-Final-Steps-Raja-Pagadala.jpg

The Final Step’s Raja Pagadala

“We exist to fulfill people’s potential. What I mean by ‘people’ is colleagues first, clients second and suppliers third,” Pagadala said, adding that a hospital’s nurses, doctors, porters, etc., are more important than the patients. “That’s because they are the ones looking after the patients.”

Now that Fulton has fulfilled his dream of bringing The Final Step into the Evergreen Services Group fold, he’ll continue working with his team to identify other MSPs in the U.K. and beyond.

“I want the people I’ve seen work so hard and do so many great things have their moment of success,” he said. “I want to help people realize that dream and make sure they’re getting the best of what they’ve put into it.”

Want to talk to Jeff about Evergreen or M&A? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email  or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Read more about:

MSPsMSP 501EMEA

About the Author(s)

Jeff O'Heir

Jeff O’Heir is a journalist and editor who has spent much of his career covering the business leaders, issues and trends that define the IT and consumer technology channels. His work in print, online and on stage has showcased, educated and connected small and large solution providers, MSPs, channel pros and vendors. During his career, Jeff has also covered engineering technologies and breakthroughs, crime, politics, food and the arts.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like