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Investment Plan for Europe: EIF and Cariparma Group sign EUR 150 million agreement for innovative companies in Italy

    Date: 17 October 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza S.p.A. and its subsidiaries FriulAdria and Carispezia (Cariparma Group) have signed a guarantee transaction to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in Italy. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

Thanks to the EU and EIF’s risk-sharing agreement, Cariparma Group will be able to provide loans at advantageous conditions to SMEs and small mid-caps over the next two years. EIF’s guarantee is provided under the “EU InnovFin finance for Innovators” initiative with the financial backing from Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The deal would not have been possible so soon without the backing of the Investment Plan.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “This new transaction with Cariparma Group adds to the already long list of transactions under EFSI that we have in Italy and comes shortly after we proposed to extend the successful EFSI, both in volume and in time. I strongly encourage Italian businesses to seize this new opportunity to obtain financing at favourable conditions thanks to EIF’s transaction with Cariparma Group.”

Commenting on the signature, EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “Cariparma Group has a long-standing relationship with Italian SMEs and small mid-caps and offers already a wide range of products destined to meet their specific needs. I am hence confident that EIF’s agreement with Cariparma Group will allow more Italian businesses to obtain access to attractive financing solutions.”

"The Cariparma Crédit Agricole Group has always focused on the needs of entrepreneurs and Italian companies” said Hughes Brasseur, Co-General Manager of the Cariparma Crédit Agricole Group. “The agreement with the EIF, signed within the 2014-2020 EU Research Programme called Horizon 2020, is an opportunity for innovative SMEs to have easier access to targeted and subsidized credit designed for their needs thanks to the guarantee issued by the European Investment Fund. Moreover, the initiative is in line with the activities of technological development and innovation dealt with in the "Industry 4.0” project, which has been recently supported by the Italian Government to promote the development and growth of the Country.”

Support under EFSI, including the agreement with Cariparma Group, translates into a quicker positive impact for InnovFin agreements, leading to further investments, growth and faster economic recovery in Europe.

About 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. More information on EIF's work under the EFSI is available here.

About Cariparma Group

Crédit Agricole is present in Italy, his second home market, with 12,000 employees and 3.5 million customers, financing the economy with EUR 61 billion. The close cooperation between the companies in the retail banking, consumer credit, corporate and investment banking, asset management and insurance sector guarantees to Crédit Agricole to operate in the peninsula with a broad and integrated offer to its customers, for the benefit of all economic actors. The Cariparma Crédit Agricole Group, the commercial bank consisting of Cariparma, FriulAdria and Carispezia, is present in Italy with about 900 stores in 10 regions and is the seventh player by bank assets under management with over 8,000 employees and more than 1.7 million customers.

About the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan for Europe focuses on strengthening European investments to create jobs and growth. It does so by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The European Investment Bank (EIB) estimates that the projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far (by 26 September 2016) are expected to mobilise EUR 127.2 billion in total investments across 27 Member States and to support almost 290,000 SMEs.

Building on this success, the European Commission on 14 September 2016 proposed extending the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths. Find the latest EFSI figures including a break-down by sector and by country here. For more information see the FAQs.

About InnovFin

The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between EUR 25,000 and EUR 7.5 million in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small mid-caps (up to 499 employees). The facility is managed by EIF, and is rolled out through financial intermediaries – banks and other financial institutions – in EU Member States and Associated Countries. Under this facility, financial intermediaries are guaranteed by EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility.

Press contacts:

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

Cariparma Group: Elisabetta Usuelli
Tel.:+ 39 02 88245208, E-Mail: elisabettausuelli@cariparma.it

European Commission: Siobhán Millbright
Tel.:+ 32 (0)2 29 57 361, E-Mail: siobhan.millbright@ec.europa.eu


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