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Investment Plan for Europe: EIF signs £100 million agreement with Barclays for innovative and high growth UK companies

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    Date: 22 October 2015
The European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed an agreement with Barclays to finance lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in the UK. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments which will be deployed by the European Commission and the EIB Group.

The new agreement allows Barclays to provide EUR 140m (GBP 100m) finance to innovative companies in the UK over the next 2 years. The loans will be backed by a guarantee of the EIF, enabled by the InnovFin initiative with financial backing from the Commission's Horizon 2020 programme. Under the new programme Barclays will offer innovative companies additional financing at more favourable rates as part of the bank’s commitment to supporting high growth businesses in the UK.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "There is a thriving start-up scene in the UK and this financing agreement with Barclays under the Investment Plan for Europe will give those start-ups a helping hand. The Investment Plan is well underway and already helping small businesses grow."

Commenting on the signature, EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am pleased to be signing this EFSI deal in the UK with our long-term partner Barclays, boosting investment in companies across the country. The new agreement under this flagship EU programme will help to further develop our cooperation with Barclays, ensuring that many more innovative companies can access finance over the next two years”.

Karl Nolson, Head of Debt Finance at Barclays commented: “Helping innovative companies to grow is at the heart of what we do. Barclays is uniquely placed to support high growth businesses and entrepreneurs, from start-up, to scale up, to IPO. Lending to SMEs is at the core of our business and this joint-venture agreement with the EIF is now another way that our business customers can access funding when they need it most. The UK economy needs innovation and innovators need finance. In offering Innovation Finance it enables us to provide additional funding solutions, supporting more businesses in the UK with the potential to be future blue-chip companies.”

The aim of the InnovFin SME Guarantee is to work with banks or other financial institutions to lend to SMEs and small mid-caps (firms with fewer than 500 employees) in need of investment and/or operating capital to finance research, development and innovation activities, with EU financial support. Financial institutions are being selected by the EIF following expressions of interest from financial institutions across Europe. Barclays has partnered with the EIF to offer businesses Innovation Finance, under the InnovFin SME Guarantee in order to extend its provision of lending for high-growth companies that need access to finance early on in their growth journey.

This is one of the first transactions approved by EIF which will benefit from an EU guarantee under EFSI. This deal has been signed before EFSI is formally established, reflecting  the EIB Group’s commitment to respond swiftly to calls from Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament for a rapid launch of concrete initiatives under EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.

Notes to editors

About the InnovFin SME Guarantee loan

The loan is available to small and medium sized businesses (minimum loan amount £100,000 – maximum £5 million) with a minimum term of 12 months - maximum terms up to 10 years available (subject to credit appetite).

An early repayment fee of 1% is applicable on loans below £3 million and 1.5% on loans equal to and above £3 million. In the event of default the customer will remain liable for 100% of the outstanding debt, not just the amount outside the coverage of the guarantee. For further information customers should refer to the full terms and conditions of the loan.

About EIF

The European Investment Fund's (EIF) central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 8.8bn at end 2014. With investments in over 500 funds, EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 5.6bn in over 350 operations at end 2014, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About Barclays

Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way.

With 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 130,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our http://www.barclays.com

About the Investment Plan for Europe Investment Plan for Europe website

About InnovFin InnovFin

About Horizon2020 Horizon 2020 website

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

Barclays: Victoria Gregory
Tel.: +44(0) 207 116 5927 e-mail: victoria.j.gregory@barclays.com

European Commission: Lucia Caudet / Annika Breidthardt

Tel.: +32 2 29 56182, email: lucia.caudet@ec.europa.eu / Tel.: +32 229 56153, email: annika.breidthardt@ec.europa.eu


 
 

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