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Over EUR 130 million of loans for cultural and creative SMEs in France and across Europe

  •  
    Date: 22 December 2017

The European Investment Fund and the French Institut pour le Financement du Cinéma et des Industries Culturelles (IFCIC) have signed two guarantee agreements in France supported under the new Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility from the EU's Creative Europe programme.

The first agreement is a direct guarantee which allows IFCIC to substantially increase its loan volumes to support French SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors, reaching out to currently underserved sub-sectors including performing arts, visual effects, publishing and fashion design, to support a portfolio of more than EUR 40 million of loans over the next two years.

The second is a counter-guarantee agreement. It is the first cross-border transaction under the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility targeting film producers across the programme’s Participating Countries aiming at supporting a portfolio of more than EUR 90 million of loans to European SMEs active in the film and TV production. IFCIC will also launch a guarantee for a new working capital loan to support European early stage film and TV productions.

In total, more than 300 SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors are expected to obtain access to finance as a result of this new Guarantee Facility.

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert, said: “I am delighted that we are announcing two transactions with IFCIC, including the first cross-border transaction in Europe under the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility. Access to finance is very often limited for companies in the cultural and creative sectors and these new agreements will help IFCIC to increase its lending and guarantee activity. The Cultural and Creative sectors both in France and across Europe will benefit from this EU backed support.”

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society said: "Cultural and creative sectors are the backbone of European diversity and significant contributors to its economic development. The European Union, through the Creative Europe programme, is highly committed to help companies finance their innovative projects and stimulate the European creativity and cultural initiatives. These agreements are excellent news both for companies in France and across Europe. With this first cross-border transaction under the Guarantee facility we hope to build partnerships across Europe so that more European film producers can benefit from the backing of this financial instrument."

Commenting on the operation, General Director of IFCIC, Florence Philbert said: “I would like to thank the European Investment Fund, the European Investment Bank and to pay tribute to the European Commission's ambitious initiative in favor of cultural and creative industries. IFCIC's new offering has benefitted from the support of all its historic partners, including Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and CNC. IFCIC is glad to be able to implement new tools dedicated to all cultural and creative businesses. As a result of this reform, IFCIC's action will provide strong leverage for the development of hundreds of SMEs in the cultural sector.”

The creative and cultural sectors represent more than 7 million jobs in the EU and account for 4.2% of the EU's GDP (source). Access to finance can be difficult to obtain for companies active within these sectors, primarily due to the intangible nature of their assets and collateral, the limited size of the market, uncertainty about demand, and also lack of financial intermediary expertise in addressing sector specificities.

The new Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility includes capacity building activities for financial intermediaries, giving them specific expertise on key characteristics of these sectors (e.g. specific business models and credit risk assessment in the sectors). This kind of expertise would be provided by capacity building provider(s) selected by the EIF (e.g. consultancies specialised in the way the cultural and creative sectors work) following an open call for tenders. Such support will be free of charge for financial intermediaries.

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 IFCIC

The Institute for the Financing of the Film and Cultural Industries (IFCIC) is a credit institution whose mission is to facilitate credit access to cultural and creative businesses. IFCIC provides two sets of financial instruments: guarantees and loans. It offers cultural and creative companies its financing solutions and financial/banking expertise, banks its guarantee, co-financing ability and expertise in assessing cultural and creative companies’ specific business models.

About the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility and Creative Europe

Set up under the cross-sectoral strand of the Creative Europe programme, the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility is the first EU investment instrument with such a wide scope in the culture and creative sectors. It pursues the same objective as the SME window of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which drives the Investment Plan for Europe: increasing lending to SMEs to enable them to scale up their activities.

Creative Europe is a 7-year programme (2014-2020) designed to support the creative and cultural sectors. It has a budget of EUR 1.46 billion for the whole duration of the period. It is composed of the MEDIA sub-programme, helping the development and the distribution of European audiovisual works, the Culture sub-programme, which supports culture sector initiatives promoting for example cross-border cooperation or platforms for emerging artists, and the cross-sectoral strand. The objective of Creative Europe is to promote cultural diversity, encourage the circulation of European culture and creativity and strengthen the competitiveness of the cultural and creative sectors.

Press contacts:

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

IFCIC:

Tel: +33 1 53 64 55 55
e-mail: trichet@ifcic.fr
saunier@ifcic.fr
philbert@ifcic.fr

European Commission:
Nathalie Vandystadt
Tel: +32 229-67083
e-mail: Nathalie.Vandystadt@ec.europa.eu


 
 

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