Syntaxis hits halfway mark on €250m fundraise

The provider of junior capital to Central and Eastern European businesses has held a €140m first close on its second fund.

Syntaxis Capital, a Central and Eastern European (CEE) mezzanine specialist, has held a first close of its second fund on €140 million – more than halfway towards its eventual target of €250 million.

The firm said in a statement that The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Fund are the fund's anchor investors. Other commitments came from LPs re-upping from the firm’s first fund as well as new investors, however their identities were not disclosed.

The firm’s debut fund closed on “just under” €120 million in December 2008, and is now “largely invested”.  Massachuessets Life Insurance Company, Themis Equity Partners, Unicredit and Pohjola were among its LPs.

Syntaxis Mezzanine Fund II will continue its predecessor’s strategy of providing junior capital to mid-market private companies in the new European Union member states of Central Europe. It will invest between €7.5 million and €20 million in private equity-backed buyouts and growing companies in sponsorless transactions. 

“While Central Europe has certainly felt the impact of the financial crisis, over the investment period of the fund (and beyond) convergence with Western Europe will remain the key driver of regional growth and again act as a magnet for inward investment,” Syntaxis managing partner Ben Edwards said in the statement. 

He added: “Less permanent equity and credit financing has left the region in the last year and so is no bad thing for our fund: good companies continue to need capital for expansion and acquisitions, and the buyout market will again be a key feature in our private equity landscape when senior debt underwritings resume.”

Syntaxis, which has offices in Vienna and Warsaw, was founded in 2007 by former Mezzanine Management executives Ben Edwards, Przemek Szczepanski and Thomas Spring. The first fund invested in the likes of Utimo, a Polish consumer finance business; Labor Med, a Romanian pharmaceuticals company; and GTS, a pan-regional telecom firm.