Syntaxis provides direct mezz financing

The Central and Eastern European mezzanine manager has provided financing directly to a Polish glass manufacturer.

Vienna-headquartered fund manager Syntaxis Capital has provided €15 million in mezzanine finance to Glass-Team, a manufacturer of fire-resistant glass based in Poland.

Proceeds will be used for both provision of liquidity for existing shareholders as well as the expansion of the company geographically, Pawel Lakomy, director at Syntaxis who led the investment, told Private Debt Investor. “The company is expanding very rapidly in the Polish market with north of 30 percent market share,” he said.

Syntaxis will become the sole lender to the company, which previously had no debt, as a result. It is also the only financial investor involved in the transaction, given there is no private equity sponsor, Lakomy explained. 

This ‘lone role’ is becoming more common place he said and reflects changes in the nature of the group’s lending since the financial crisis. 

“Pre-Lehman, we were just another layer in the capital structure, with deals typically having a financial sponsor and senior financing backing the deal. Nowadays, we are effectively the only debt provider and the only financial investor. The last few deals we have closed, all of them, have followed this pattern,” Lakomy said. 

The transaction also reinforces his view that activity is increasing in the region. Syntaxis has completed four deals since September 2013, with three closing this summer alone. As with those deals, Syntaxis will hold a “significant minority stake” in Glass-Team. Other stakeholders in the company include the founders and management.

Lakomy said that in some way there had been a “shake-down” since the financial crisis. Some borrowers had had “very high valuations and expectations” for their companies, but that had changed throughout the last year. 

Things are better also in terms of the quality of companies that are looking for financing, he said.