Charnwood is one of the UK’s leading providers of outsourced drug discovery services, supporting an international client base of pharmaceutical and biotech companies in developing novel drugs.
The Company was founded in 1998 by University Professors, Steve Allin (CEO) and Phil Page as a spin out from Loughborough University, initially focused on outsourced chemical synthesis services to the life sciences industry. Prior to Synova’s investment, Steve led Charnwood through a strategic shift, developing deep chemistry expertise focused on higher value services in synthesis, medicinal chemistry and scale-up research for new drugs.
The Business has an excellent market reputation and is currently servicing multiple well known disruptive biotechs, who are targeting difficult areas of drug discovery and exploring innovative approaches to solve their discovery challenges.
Synova will be supporting Steve Allin, who will remain with the Business as CEO, and we are supporting significant near-term investments in Charnwood’s senior management team. Synova has already introduced a non-executive Chairman, Ben Cons, who joined the Board at completion. Ben is a highly experienced life sciences executive having held senior executive positions within GSK and IQVIA as well as numerous non-executive Board appointments over the last 25 years.
Preventx is the UK’s leading provider of online-led sexual health testing and diagnostic services and the only company with a fully integrated laboratory model.
Preventx was founded in 2008 by Neil Cooper and Tim Alston. Neil and Tim saw the opportunity to deliver both tangible cost savings to Local Authorities and an improved end user experience by shifting sexual health testing out of the traditional clinic setting. Since then, the business has grown rapidly, driven by the recognition by health commissioners that online-led self-sample testing is a cost-effective way to deal with rising patient demand.
In 2017, Preventx won a significant pan-London contract, which covers 28 boroughs. This represented a step-change in the market visibility of the Business and further cemented its position as the leading sexual health diagnostics provider in the country.
Preventx has integrated state of the art laboratory facilities in Sheffield with a proprietary software platform that services the end user, commissioners and clinicians, as well as managing laboratory workflow and reporting. This integrated offering is unique, and is central to market-leading end user and commissioner feedback and a highly efficient workflow.
Mediatonic is a leading global developer and publisher of video games.
Mediatonic is led by its two co-founders, Dave Bailey and Paul Croft, who started the company in 2005. Since then Mediatonic has launched over 100 games in partnership with some of the world’s largest and fastest growing game publishers including Scopely and Square Enix.
Its proven track record in delivering and operating high quality titles (particularly in the dynamic mobile “free to play” game space) has led blue-chip publishers to partner with Mediatonic to develop and then manage some of their most significant intellectual properties (“Games-as-a-Service”). This includes a roster of high profile titles such as Gears Pop! (Gears of War, Microsoft) and Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World (Harry Potter, Warner Bros).
Pacifica is the UK’s largest provider of home appliance, gas heating, inspection, repair, replacement and refurbishment services.
The Company was founded in 2003 by Kevin Brown and a team that combined has over 75 years’ experience in the UK’s domestic appliance and heating industry. Since then the Company has developed its leading proprietary software platform, “Fixzone”, which underpins its high quality service offering and has become the largest provider of home appliance, gas heating, inspection, repair, replacement and refurbishment services.
Pacifica has a blue chip client base, providing outsourced support services across two divisions: Pacifica Appliance Services, providing maintenance and repair of electrical goods on behalf of brands, OEMs and retailers; and Pacifica Home Services, providing maintenance and installation of domestic energy services including heating and insulation.
Chatsworth is a leading independent schools group focused on providing high quality education from nursery through to secondary levels.
The Chatsworth Schools team is led by CEO and Founder, Anita Gleave, who has extensive experience in the education sector, spanning from her initial roles as both a teacher and a headteacher to managing and successfully growing large schools groups in both the UK and overseas.
There are currently five schools in the Chatsworth portfolio across London and the Home Counties with a strong pipeline of future acquisitions. The intention is to build a market-leading group of outstanding schools in developed markets around the world as well as establishing new schools in rapidly growing and developing areas.
The Chatsworth team have a passion for schools as learning communities and a commitment to excellence. The group aims always to be innovative and to invest in and develop highly successful resilient education partnerships.
Mintec is the most comprehensive provider of global pricing data and intelligence for non-traded food commodities.
Mintec is the world’s most comprehensive provider of global pricing data and intelligence for non-traded food commodities.
Mintec Online, its cloud-based SaaS platform, aggregates over 10,000 data sources on raw commodity prices. As the most reputable and long-standing provider in the market, Mintec data is a vital reference point for pricing negotiation and budget preparation for over 400 customers. Mintec Enterprise provides an extensive analytics and intelligence toolset around this core data offering, helping customers to plan, budget and negotiate more effectively.
Its customer base includes Unilever, Pepsi, Mars, Tesco, Albertsons, Walmart and Carrefour. In all, its customers include 18 of the 20 largest global retailers and 12 of the 20 largest global manufacturers.
AllClear is the UK's leading provider of travel insurance solutions for people over the age of 55 with pre-existing medical conditions.
AllClear is the UK’s leading specialist travel insurance broker for customers with pre-existing medical conditions.
The Business has market-leading expertise in placing insurance for impaired travel risks and operates through direct distribution, white label partnerships, and its own price comparison website. Its proprietary data, accumulated from nearly two decades of experience, enables AllClear to price impaired travel risk more effectively than its competitors and thereby to provide affordable cover for many medical conditions.
AllClear has also expanded into Ireland and Australia. Since inception, the Business has provided cover to more than 1 million policyholders, and benefits from market-leading customer service ratings.
Avantra is a global leader in Applications Monitoring Software for SAP enterprise customers.
Avantra is a leading provider of Application Performance Monitoring (APM) software focused on SAP enterprise customers.
Avantra core software automates daily operations monitoring and management processes, reducing costs and supplying critical analytics to corporate customers. The market opportunity is expanding rapidly as IT infrastructure grows ever more complex and mission critical to the daily operations of businesses and helps customers to address these challenges robustly and efficiently.
Avantra’s customers are predominantly blue-chip’s such as IBM, Fujitsu, BMW and Deloitte. Avantra is used directly by corporate customers in the management of their own systems as well as by multinational and regional IT service providers to underpin their offering to clients. Synova has invested in order to support the management team to deliver an accelerated international growth plan.
Oakland is a platform for the development of premium private pay residential care in the South East of England.
Oakland Primecare, led by CEO Harnoop Atkar, is a highly regarded elderly care home group with a strong pipeline of development sites.
Oakland provides residential, dementia and nursing care and currently operates two care homes in Loughton (Essex) and Hastings (Sussex) with a combined capacity of 152 beds. Each home offers superior amenities, ample and varied day space, attractive landscaping and generous room sizes, with a focus on providing excellent care in a friendly and welcoming environment.
Two further homes, situated in Essex and East Sussex, are currently under construction.
Fairstone is one of the fastest growing Independent Financial Adviser consolidation platforms in the UK.
Fairstone utilises a proprietary technology platform to streamline front and back office functions, underpinned by a robust compliance and regulatory framework. As a result, Fairstone offers a substantially reduced administration burden and faster execution to IFA’s allowing them to focus more of their time on their core competence of providing bespoke financial advice to clients. The Company is also one of the largest Chartered Financial Planning firms in the UK.
The Company’s pioneering lead generation capabilities offer additional benefits to help accelerate the growth of each IFA once they have joined the platform. This unique acquisition model allows individual IFA firms to benefit from the growth as part of the Fairstone platform prior to their ultimate acquisition by the Business. To date over 40 IFA firms have joined the Fairstone platform together with over 50 individual advisers who have enjoyed average earnings growth of 17% per annum over the last 3 years.
Founded in Newcastle in 2008 by CEO, Lee Hartley, Fairstone has grown to encompass over 260 IFA’s throughout the UK offering tailored financial advice to in excess of 25,000 private clients with £5.8 billion of assets under advice.
Vistair is a leading provider of technology-based Safety, Efficiency and Compliance solutions to the airline industry.
Vistair’s solutions are driving the digitization of information and data provision to pilots and crew from flight operations manuals to safety reporting and quality measurement. The requirement for regular updates, compliant processes and the control of publication and viewing of critical documentation is driven by increasing regulatory requirements. In addition, the replacement of multiple paper-based manuals on the flight deck with digital devices drives reduced fuel consumption and improves the carbon footprint across the industry.
Headquartered near Bristol, and with operations in Glasgow, Manchester, London and Dubai, the Business has developed cutting-edge cloud-hosted solutions for global airlines, including British Airways, Delta, EasyJet, Air Asia and Emirates.
Synova has invested in order to support Vistair’s ambitious international growth plans in partnership with the Founders, Ian Herbert and David Hedley, CEO and CTO respectively.
Headquartered in Glasgow, Clyde Munro is Scotland's leading dental practice consolidation platform.
Synova has provided capital to support the buy-in management buy-out of the Clyde Munro Group. The team is led by CEO, Jim Hall, and Non-Executive Chairman, Steve Duncan, former Executive Director of Alliance Boots. Synova’s investment facilitated the platform acquisition of a group of practices based in the West of Scotland and provided significant further capital for investment to build the leading dental group in Scotland.
Clyde Munro operates a ‘hub and spoke’ model across Scotland, pairing local community dental practices with specialist referral centres for more complex treatments. This model ensures the Group is able to provide leading quality, bespoke care to all patients, and cater for the full range of complexity of treatment required for each case.
Synova has invested in Clyde Munro alongside the existing principal dentists and the new senior management team.
Meritsoft provides an Intelligent automated platform for tax, regulatory and claims solutions for Investment Banks
The demand for Meritsoft’s products has accelerated, driven by both regulatory demand and an internal drive for efficiencies within investment banks and other Capital Market participants. Synova’s growth capital investment will support the Company in developing new products and growing its presence in the North American market.
Synova partnered with Kerril Burke and Paul Burke, CEO and CTO respectively, alongside FiveW Capital led by strategic US based investor Randall Winn, co-founder and former CEO of Capital IQ, who joined the Company as a Non-Executive Director, and Peter Little (previously CEO and Chairman of Cadis Software Limited and co-founder of Braid Systems) who joined the Business as Non-Executive Chairman.
Owner of DH Enterprise (trading as Great Value Vacations) & Fleetway Travel, leading technology-led providers of exclusive online luxury travel deals.
A leading provider of exclusive luxury travel deals in both the US and the UK, giving the Business a differentiated proposition, offering hoteliers (typically 4*/5* hotels) a new strategic channel to manage inventory in periods of lower demand, without devaluing their brand.
Synova has invested alongside Group CEO Ben Block and UK CEO Stuart Jackson following the merger of the two complimentary businesses in February 2020.
4Ways is the UK's fastest growing tele-diagnostics provider.
It has built a robust and scalable technology-led platform, through which its network of experienced radiologists assist both public and private healthcare providers with reporting on diagnostic images. Volumes of medical images are increasing rapidly in line with general demand for healthcare services and also as the use of imaging within diagnostic/care pathways increases. Synova invested in 4Ways alongside the management team in order to support the future growth of the business.
4Ways has established itself as a leading provider of tele-diagnostics services to both public and private healthcare providers. 4Ways had invested in the latest technology to enable its services to be delivered in a highly cost effective way, whilst maintaining its strong reputation for customer service and quality of reporting. The Business was ideally placed to help with the unprecedented challenges the UK healthcare system faces as it attempts to cope with the combined pressure of unrelenting increases in demand and sever constraints on funding.
Defaqto is the UK's most comprehensive database on financial services products.
At its core Defaqto is the UK’s largest retail financial product and fund database from which it creates a range of solutions and services – ratings, software tools, consultancy services, data services, and publications and events – to deliver this information in a meaningful way. Defaqto’s intelligence facilitates better financial decisions and greater effectiveness in the creation, management and distribution of financial products. Synova invested in Defaqto alongside the management team of Zahid Bilgrami, Alastair Brown and Remko Bijtjes, and Non-Executive Chairman Chris Samuel, in order to support the future growth of the Business.
The management team focused on increasing the breadth and depth of Defaqto’s extensive database whilst leveraging that information to expand the solutions it offers to the market. Recognised as a trusted provider of software and information to financial institutions, the public sector and independent financial advisers (IFAs), Defaqto also built a strong reputation as the leading independent provider of ratings for retail financial products and funds.
Stackhouse Poland specialises in insurance broking to the high net worth market.
The Business built its strong reputation around tailoring insurance broking solutions for its high net worth private clients and companies with specific commercial insurance requirements with annual written premiums approaching £350m. Having established its reputation as one of the UK’s leading advisory-led insurance brokers with market leading renewal rates, strong underwriting relationships and focus on the attractive niche HNW part of the insurance market, Stackhouse Poland represents an attractive platform for further consolidating a highly fragmented market. Synova invested alongside the management team of Jeremy Cary, James Agnew and Tim Johnson to support the growth plans of the Business.
The Company was originally acquired in 2001 by the Directors (Jeremy Cary, James Agnew and Keith Hester), and has grown consistently through a combination of strong organic strategy and targeted acquisitions. Despite executing a series of successful acquisitions, a fresh capital structure was required in order to allow for the retirement of Keith Hester and the appointment of a new CEO, Tim Johnson.
MK Test provides software and systems used in testing aircraft.
The increasing use of electronic systems in aviation sector, and the order backlog in commercial aircraft, is leading to accelerating production schedules demanding automated testing solution for efficiency and safety. MK Test also supports the electrical testing of specialist vehicle manufacturers including rolling stock for the global rail industry as well as developing new products for the increasingly stringent testing of subsea oil & gas installations.
Synova Capital has invested alongside the management team of Mike Threlfall and Jason Evans to support the business in achieving its significant growth potential. Paul Carter (formerly a Vice President at Rolls Royce and CEO of Premium Aircraft Interior Group) and Mark Champion have also joined the Board of Directors.
Mandata is a fast growing provider of SaaS solutions to the UK haulage sector.
Mandata’s suite of solutions allows customers to manage their data and resources more efficiently, reducing emissions and fuel consumption, and providing end-customers with increased visibility over the movement of their goods. The core products are a fully integrated traffic management and telematics system which together provide an end-to-end Enterprise Resource Planning solution.
Founded in 1974 Mandata has developed the UK’s leading transport management system for independent haulage and logistics operators. The exit of one of the founders and and the requirement for a new strategic direction gave Synova the opportunity to acquire the business and introduce a new CEO, Mark Norcliffe. We have subsequently focused on professionalising the business and taking advantage of Mandata’s market leading position.
Kinapse is the world leader in the provision of outsourced regulatory and compliance services to the life sciences industry.
Kinapse counts many of the world’s largest life sciences companies and regulatory organisations as customers including Pfizer, GSK, Merck Serono, Johnson & Johnson and the European Medicines Agency. Kinapse operates a unique blended onshore-offshore resourcing model enabling the Business to offer customers cost effective off-shore solutions allied to input from industry leading consultants based in the UK. The Group has offices in the UK, India and the United States.
Synova Capital has invested alongside Kinapse’s CEO, Andy Black, in order to support the management team’s growth strategy.
Clearwater is a provider of high quality residential care facilities and supported living services for people with learning disabilities aged between 18 and 65.
The Business currently operates from 25 freehold properties located predominately within the Greater London area. Synova Capital’s initial acquisition of Clearwater Care has since been supported by further capital to grow the company both organically and by acquisition of further properties.
Synova’s investment provided a liquidity event for the founding shareholders while also supporting the management buy-in with Non-Executive Chairman, Martyn Ward, remaining in his role alongside the buy-in team, which is led by Philip Arden. Clearwater has recruited additional senior professionals to the management team and delivered a significant number of operational improvements.
Clearwater Care, formerly a subsidiary of Hallmark Care, is one of the South East’s leading providers of high quality residential care and supported living services for people with profound learning disabilities and complex needs. Synova’s acquisition of Clearwater, alongside a buy-in team, allowed Hallmark’s shareholders to realise the proceeds of a disposal of a non-core asset in order to focus on their primary market, elderly care.
dbg is an innovative provider of outsourced healthcare support services to the UK primary care market.
It provides services and products to its membership of over 10,000 dental practices, GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals with services that include CPD training, compliance audits, equipment maintenance and inspection and the supply of specialist materials.
With over 50% of UK dental practices and 25% of GPs as customers, and through its highly skilled team of professionals, the dbg is extremely well placed to support practitioners and healthcare professionals as they adapt to the legislative changes targeted at the sector.
Synova provided the strategic advice and funding to dbg’s long-established management team to support their ambitions of acquiring the business from its founding shareholders. Our investment allowed the business to continue on its journey away from the dental medical products and sundries space in order to pursue its burgeoning high margin outsourcing and compliance services activities. In addition, Synova supported the recruitment of fresh talent to help support the incumbent management team.
TLG Brands, which owns the Fiorelli, NICA and Modalu fashion labels, is a brand led designer of affordable luxury handbags and accessories.
TLG Brands has significantly grown market share in recent years and the brands themselves are sold throughout the UK in more than 500 independent retail outlets and leading department stores. Over the past three years, the company has successfully launched Fiorelli, NICA and Modalu in a number of international markets, as well as developing a fast growing online retail site.
Founded by brothers Stuart & David Lunan, TLG Brands (formerly The Lunan Group) is the owner of the UK’s leading affordable luxury handbag and accessories brands, Fiorelli, NICA and Modalu. A combination of the Lunan brothers’ desire to crystallise some well-earned value, and David Lunan’s wish to retire, provided an opportunity for Synova to invest in the business, support the recruitment of new management and provide further capital for expansion.