Diva Synergy fund gets $40m acceleration funding

Diva Synergy UCITS, the event-driven strategy managed by Paris-based Bernheim, Dreyfus & Co, has received some $40m of acceleration capital from the newly-launched seeding platform Emergence, bringing its assets close to $50m.

Launched in mid-2011, the Diva Synergy UCITS Fund pursues an absolute return strategy focusing on equity M&A situations in Europe and North America, and offers daily liquidity.

The fund deploys its capital in two sub-strategies: merger arbitrage (announced transactions) and pre-event (expected transactions), and relies on strong fundamental analysis. It is market neutral and targets absolute returns, uncorrelated with market performance. The strategy has been implemented through an offshore fund for almost six years.

It is run by three managers: Lionel Melka (former investment banker specialized in M&A), Amit Shabi (10-year previous experience in capital markets) and Sébastien Dettmar (background in risk management at LCF Rothschild), and the team includes several financial analysts and risk/ops professionals.  

In January, Melka and Shabi co-authored a reference book on merger arbitrage, L’arbitrage sur fusions et acquisitions (Merger Arbitrage) ed. Economica. Shabi said: “We are extremely pleased to be part of the Emergence project and to have been chosen by NewAlpha, which has a strong track-record of identifying solid, high-potential managers.”

Emergence, created in early 2012, is backed by seven major French institutional investors representing over $1.5trn of financial assets.  

The investment recognizes the Diva fund’s quality, through its intense selection process, but also contributes to the fund’s development by allowing it to reach critical size, Bernheim, Dreyfus & Co said. The managers believe the fund is currently well positioned to benefit from a pick-up in M&A activity. “Corporates and private equity houses are sitting on huge amounts of liquidity, waiting to be deployed. Interest rates are low, public companies valuations reasonable and growth remains more efficiently achieved externally, through acquisitions, than organically. The progressive resolution of macroeconomic uncertainties, especially in Europe, should encourage CEOs to look for acquisition opportunities.”.  

The absolute return compartment of the Emergence platform is managed by NewAlpha Asset Management, which has concluded 17 strategic partnerships and invested a combined total of over $720m with early stage managers located throughout the world.

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