Syntaxis Capital Holds Mezz Fund Close

Syntaxis Capital has held a €140 million first close on its second Central European mezzanine fund. The total target is €250 million, compated to the €120 million raised fo Syntaxis’ first Central European mezz fund.


Syntaxis Capital is pleased to announce the 1st close of its second Central European mezzanine fund, with aggregated commitments of €140 million, or just over half its targeted amount. SMF II follows on the firm’s maiden fund which reached final close at the end of 2008 collecting just under €120 million in aggregate commitments and is now largely invested. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the anchor of the Syntaxis’s first fund, also anchored the second, alongside of the European Investment Fund. Other commitments were received from Fund I limited partners re-upping into Fund II, as well as from new investors.

Syntaxis Mezzanine Fund II’s investment strategy, identical to Fund I’s, 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 Partners stated,

“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. 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 buyout 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 buyouts, 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 €7.5 million to €20 million, but through active direct involvement with the Fund’s existing and prospective limited partners, Syntaxis Capital expects that the Fund will be able to structure junior capital investments in much larger amounts.

More information on Syntaxis Capital

Syntaxis Capital was founded by Ben Edwards, Przemek Szczepanski and Thomas Spring. Ben has been active in the European leveraged finance market for over 20 years, and was one of the original team members at Mezzanine Management, joining the firm in London in 1989, shortly after its formation. The firm raised its first fund, Syntaxis Mezzanine Fund I, in 2007, and is fully-invested. Notable Fund I deals include providing expansion capital for Ultimo, a leading consumer finance business in Poland, in Labor Med, Advent’s generic pharmaceuticals company in Romania, to GTS, the pan-regional alternative telecommunications business owned by a consortium led by Innova, and to Axtone, a global player in the freight wagon buffers industry owned by IK Investment Partners.

Prior to forming Syntaxis Capital in early 2006 with his partners, Ben helped establish Accession Mezzanine Capital, Mezzanine Management’s Central European fund, and co-headed its advisor. Przemek ran Mezzanine Management’s operations in Poland, and Thomas (formerly with Lehman Brothers, London) covered regional markets out of Vienna. All three individuals have significant experience in the field of mezzanine capital and leveraged finance for Central European companies. Through its initial two offices in Vienna and Warsaw, Syntaxis Capital will seek, through funds it advises, to provide mezzanine capital to Central European companies across a wide range of industries, typically in management buy-outs and other leveraged transactions.