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Investment Plan for Europe: 1,500 innovative businesses to benefit from EIF and Banco Popolare agreement

    Date: 08 April 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Banco Popolare Società Cooperativa (Banco Popolare), have signed an InnovFin agreement for SMEs benefiting from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The InnovFin agreement will allow Banco Popolare to provide EUR 300 million of bank loans to innovative companies in Italy over the next 2 years. The EU support for innovative Italian companies benefits from the support of a guarantee provided by the EIF and is backed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

Commenting on the signature, EIF’s Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am delighted to be announcing this InnovFin SME Guarantee agreement with Banco Popolare which would benefit 1,500 innovative companies in Italy. EUR 300 million of additional innovative finance will assist Banco Popolare’s efforts to target businesses looking to develop new products and services”.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Today's agreement marks yet more good news for SMEs in Italy: another 1,500 growing, innovative business can now access fresh loans worth EUR 300 million in total. Once again I congratulate Italian banks for showing such initiative and collaborating with the EIF so effectively under the Investment Plan for Europe".

Commenting on the transaction, Maurizio Faroni, Banco Popolare’s General Manager, said: “With the new agreement  Banco Popolare will be able to finance innovative SMEs up to EUR 300 million. We are proud to cooperate again with the EIF. Thanks to the first agreement we signed with them, we have already been able to finance more than 200 innovative SMEs for a total amount of EUR 200 million.”

This transaction implemented thanks to EFSI in Italy reflects 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.

More information

About the EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its 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.

About Banco Popolare

Established in 2007 through the merger between Banco Popolare di Verona e Novara and Banca Popolare Italiana, today the Banco Popolare Group, with a total assets of more than €120 billion, is the fourth largest banking group in Italy. Its commercial network, consisting of more than 1,800 branches, mainly located in northern Italy, guarantees a strong rooting in the traditional areas of historical presence of the Group. Banco Popolare provides a full range of financial services such as: retail banking, corporate banking, private & investment banking and asset management. Moreover, it provides bancassurance and consumer credit products through joint ventures with primary financial institutions.

SMEs wishing to apply for finance under the InnovFin programme can directly contact Banco Popolare at the following website: www.bancopopolare.it.

About the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan focuses on removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects and making smarter use of new and existing financial resources. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The European Investment Bank (EIB) estimates that by February 2016, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) triggered more than €76 billion of investment in Europe.

Find out the latest EFSI figures including a break-down by sector and by country here. For more information see the FAQs.

About InnovFin


About Horizon2020

Horizon 2020

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: +352 24 85 81 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

Banco Popolare: Marco Grassi
Tel.: +39 045.8675.867, e-mail: marco.grassi@bancopopolare.it

European Commission: Annika Breidthardt
Tel.: +322 295 6153, e-mail: Annika.breidthardt@ec.europa.eu


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