Sovereign Capital in £18.4m Synarbor deal

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Education recruitment specialist Synarbor is set for a £18.4m private equity takeover.

The Sheffield-based firm has accepted a multi-million pound deal from Star Bidco, a company owned by Sovereign Capital Partners.

Synarbor supplies temporary teachers, teaching assistants and support staff to around 2,000 clients in the state, independent and international sectors.

Its clients include local authority-controlled and academy-run primary and secondary schools, and special educational needs schools and nurseries.

Synarbor’s 2014 accounts show turnover of £28.1m and pre-tax profit of £2.3m.

Star Bidco was formed on behalf of Sovereign Capital IV Limited Partnership, a fund managed by a Sovereign Capital-owned entity.

Since launching in 2001, private equity firm Sovereign Capital has completed 240 UK-based ‘buy and build’ transactions across its three focus sectors: support services, education and training, and healthcare services.

Its Sovereign Capital IV Limited Partnership fund closed at £395m in August 2014, £45m over its target. The fund was “significantly oversubscribed” at its close, Sovereign said.

Law firm Eversheds advised Synarbor on the takeover, with corporate partner Alistair Cree and senior associate Paul Keohane leading the team.

Mr Cree said sale process and Star Bidco’s subsequent offer has been “fascinating” to work on.

Dennis Hall, independent non-executive director of Synarbor, said the Eversheds team had provided a “first-rate service” on the bid.