Synova Capital launches with £70m first close

Synova Capital is the latest in a rash of firms launching to target the UK lower mid-market. It follows Darwin Private Equity, a spin out from Permira and CVC; and London openings for Fidelity Equity Partners and HIG Capital.

Synova Capital began fundraising during September 2007. In less than three months it has secured more than £70 million ($143 million; €97 million) of investor commitments. It is targeting £100 million to invest in the UK mid-market.

The fund will invest in UK growth opportunities with a particular focus on companies valued at between £10 million and £50 million in business and support services, financial services, leisure and healthcare. 

Tamares Capital, part of the Tamares Group’s global investment business which is led by Poju Zabludowicz, is acting as a cornerstone investor, underpinning a mixture of global financial institutions and large family offices.

Synova Capital was founded by Tamares, Philip Shapiro, formerly a senior executive at the UK mid-market investor Phoenix Equity Partners, and David Menton, who had been responsible for UK private equity opportunities within the Tamares Group.

HIG Capital, a US-based provider of capital to small- and medium-sized companies, opened its second and third European offices in Paris and Hamburg in November.

The firm is the latest in a spate of entrants to the segment, including Fidelity Equity Partners, under former HgCapital director Nick Martin, and Darwin Private Equity, a start-up staffed by former partners from Permira and CVC Capital Partners.

HIG’s offices are part of a strategic plan following the final close of its €600 million ($817 million) dedicated European fund, HIG European Partners, in July this year.