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Mezzanine investor Syntaxis nears target with €140m first close

11 Dec 2009

Syntaxis Capital, a mezzanine firm with offices in Vienna and Warsaw, has held the first close of its second Central European fund, with commitments of €140m. The fund is targeting €250m.

Syntaxis Mezzanine Fund II follows on the firm’s maiden fund which reached final close at the end of 2008 collecting just under €120m, and which is mostly invested.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the anchor of the Syntaxis’s first fund, also anchored the second, alongside the European Investment Fund.

The new vehicle’s investment strategy, identical to its predecessor, is to provide junior capital to mid-market private companies in the new European Union member states of Central Europe.

Ben Edwards, Syntaxis’s managing partner, said, “While Central Europe has certainly felt the impact of the financial crisis, over the investment period of the fund, convergence with Western Europe will remain the key driver of regional growth and again act as a magnet for inward investment. That less permanent equity and credit financing has left the region in the last year or so is no bad thing for our fund: good companies continue to need capital for expansion and acquisitions, and the buy-out market will again be a key feature in our private equity landscape when senior debt underwritings resume. We are already seeing that leverage multiples and value expectations have fallen dramatically, and with greater macro visibility, we believe that this will be an excellent time to be deploying our type of capital.”

The fund aims to provide capital alongside private equity funds in buy-outs, as well as directly to growing companies in sponsorless transactions, for acquisitions, for expansion and recapitalisations. A “traditional” mezzanine investor, the fund will typically underwrite and subsequently hold to exit, the entire mezzanine financing. The typical investment size will range between €7.5m to €20m.

Syntaxis was set up in early 2006.

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