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Call for Expressions of Interest No. JER-004/2 to select Financial Intermediaries for the Lithuania JEREMIE Holding Fund

  •  
    Date: 05 March 2009 - 03 April 2009

Logos

Call for Expressions of Interest No. JER-004/2 to select Financial Intermediaries that will receive resources from the European Investment Fund acting through the JEREMIE Holding Fund for Lithuania to implement the Funded Risk Sharing Financial Instrument

Reference number: Call for EoI No. JER-004/2

Introduction

The JEREMIE initiative is a framework providing a series of coherent actions to promote increased access to finance for (primarily) micro to medium enterprises.

The JEREMIE initiative in Lithuania is organised through the European Investment Fund (hereinafter, "EIF") acting through the JEREMIE Holding Fund (hereinafter, "JHF"). Through the JHF, the EIF manages funds made available from the European Regional Development Fund (hereinafter, "ERDF") and related public expenditure awarded for utilisation under the JEREMIE initiative.

As part of the Operational Programme for Economic Growth 2007-2013[1], the competent authorities of Lithuania have agreed to dedicate resources to the implementation of the JEREMIE initiative with the EIF, in accordance with Article 44(b)(i) of the European Council Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006[2] (hereinafter, "Reg. 1083/2006") and in accordance with the provisions of the Funding Agreement entered into on 1 October 2008 between the Ministries of Finance and Economy of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter, "Ministries") and EIF (hereinafter, "Funding Agreement"). Relevant rules for implementing Reg. 1083/2006 are set out in the European Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1828/2006[3] (hereinafter, "Reg. 1828/2006").

The cooperation between the Ministries and the EIF acting through the JHF is governed by the Funding Agreement, which defines the type of cooperation and the operational modalities of the JHF financing expenditure in respect of an operation, as this term is defined in  Reg. 1083/2006 (hereinafter, "Operation") comprising contributions to support financial engineering instruments. The EIF acting through the JHF is advised by a Steering Committee, members of which are nominated by the Lithuanian authorities (hereinafter, "Steering Committee"). EIF in its capacity acting through the JHF acts on the basis of its usual business principles and an investment strategy and planning for the implementation of the JEREMIE initiative.

JEREMIE initiative is funded from the Operational Programme for Economic Growth for 2007-2013; Objective 2 ‘Increasing Business Productivity and Improving Environment for Business`; Priority Axis 2 ‘Improve Access to Financing Sources of SMEs`. The JHF activities are in line with the objectives set out in the Priority Axis of Operational Programme for Economic Growth 2007-2013 and will contribute towards Lithuanian social-economic targets.

This Call for Expression of Interest targets financial engineering instruments referred to in Article 44 of Reg. 1083/2006 and is addressed to bodies or firms, whether public or private, which are interested in receiving resources out of the JHF for the activities in respect of Operations (hereinafter "Financial Intermediaries"). Such activities shall be carried out in accordance with the contractual agreements to be entered into by the JHF and the selected Financial Intermediaries (hereinafter, "Operational Agreement(s)").

The Financial Intermediaries should express their interest by completing and submitting an Expression of Interest, a template of which is attached hereto as Annex 1 (PDF format), (Word format).

 In this Call for Expression of Interest, capitalised terms and expressions shall have the meaning attributed to them below, unless otherwise defined above or the context requires otherwise: 

Applicant

means a Financial Intermediary applying to this Call for Expression of Interest;

Business Day

means a day during which EIF Luxembourg office is open, and banks are open for general business in Vilnius and Luxembourg;

Deadline

means 3rdof April 2009;

Eligibility Criteria

means the criteria with which the Expressions of Interest and the Applicants must comply with and which are listed in Annex 2 hereof;

Expression of Interest

means a proposal sent by an Applicant in response to this Call for Expression of Interest, within the Deadline, to be drafted in accordance with the template attached hereto as Annex 1;

JEREMIE

means the initiative "Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises" launched by the Commission and EIF, as member of the European Investment Bank Group, in order to promote increased access to finance for the development of SMEs in the European Union;

JHF

means the EIF in its capacity acting through the JEREMIE Holding Fund for Lithuania, appointed under the Funding Agreement;

Operational Agreement

means an agreement entered into between a Financial Intermediary and EIF on behalf of the JHF regarding a Financial Instrument on the basis of this Call for Expression of Interest and the selection process;

Quality Assessment Criteria

means the quality assessment criteria applied by EIF experts at the sole discretion of EIF to the suitability of the Applicant and/or the proposed Financial Instrument according to the business standards of EIF and which are listed in Annex 2 hereof;

Selection Criteria

means the Eligibility Criteria and the Quality Assessment Criteria;

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises or SMEs

means micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as defined in the Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC, as implemented by the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Small and Medium-sized Business Development No VIII-935.



2.  Holding fund manager

European Investment Fund, 96 Boulevard Konrad Adenauer L-2968 Luxembourg.

The European Investment Fund and the Ministries will consider the option, with effect from 1st of October, 2011, to substitute EIF acting through and in its role as the JHF by a successor entity which may be selected and appointed by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania in compliance with the EU Structural Funds Regulations including, but not limited to, Article 44 of Reg. 1083/2006, and the applicable requirements of the Lithuanian law. In the event of such substitution, the successor entity would assume the full discretion and responsibility to perform the tasks of the JHF and to implement the Operations in Lithuania. In the event of such substitution of EIF acting through and in its role as the JHF, the Operational Agreements will seek to provide for a substitution of EIF accordingly.

3. Description of the activities expected from the selected Financial Intermediaries  

The selected Financial Intermediaries will have to implement a financial engineering instrument briefly described in the table below (hereinafter, "Financial Instrument"). A Financial Instrument shall either be set up as an independent legal entity governed by agreements between the co-financing partners or shareholders or as a separate block of finance within a Financial Intermediary. As provided by Reg. 1828/2006, a separate block of finance shall be subject to specific implementation rules within the Financial Intermediary, stipulating, in particular, that separate accounts are kept which distinguish the JHF resources invested in the Financial Instrument, including those contributed by the Operational Programme, from those initially available in the Financial Intermediary.

See below detailed list of the initial indicative allocation and the relevant Annex setting out the Selection Criteria and the description of the Financial Instrument.

  

Financial Instrument

Initial indicative capital allocation (millions EUR)

Applicable Annexes

Funded Risk Sharing Financial Instrument

14.5

Annex 2 (Funded Risk Sharing Financial Instrument: Description and Selection Criteria)



At the time of publication of this Call for Expression of Interest, an amount of EUR 14.5 million has been allocated to the Financial Instrument out of the JHF. However, the Financial Intermediaries may express their interest for a contribution which may exceed the amount initially allocated by the JHF to the Financial Instrument.

Upon receipt of the Expressions of Interest and assessment of the interest expressed by the Applicants, further funding may be made available to the JHF of an amount up to EUR 210 million. Following such increase of the funding available to the JHF, the amounts allocated to the Financial Instrument may be increased.

If more funding becomes available during the further JHF implementation process, the capital allocated to the Financial Instrument as well as the amounts contributed by the JHF to the selected Financial Intermediary may be increased, at EIF's sole discretion.

4. Expression of Interest

A template for the Expression of Interest is as Annex 1 (PDF format), (Word format)

The Expression of Interest includes the Applicant's identification, the project description, the supporting documents, the declaration of absence of conflict of interest and the statement regarding situations of exclusion.

No later than 10 Business Days before the Deadline, the Applicants may request clarifications regarding the Call for Expression of Interest or the nature of the Financial Instrument. Such requests must indicate the Call for Expression of Interest reference number and the name of the Applicant and shall be submitted in English via email to: 

Regional Business Development Unit
European Investment Fund
info.rbd@eif.org

EIF will, in principle, not contact any Applicant prior to the Deadline, unless it considers it necessary to clarify issues of a mere technical nature. However, should EIF discover any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any other type of clerical defect in the text of the Call for Expression of Interest before the Deadline, EIF will correct the text and inform accordingly.

5. Language

The Expressions of Interest, including the submitted documents, shall be in English only.

6. Submission of Expression of Interest

The Expressions of Interest shall be submitted on or before the Deadline both by (i) e-mail and (ii) registered mail or professional courier service. The Expressions of Interest sent by registered mail or professional courier service shall consist of a closed single package, and shall contain the Expression of Interest, together with its attachments, in paper form and in removable electronic storage medium (e.g. CD-ROM).

The Deadline for the submission of Expressions of Interest is the 3rd of April, 2009.

The Deadline applies (i) in case of e-mails to the reception by EIF and (ii) in case of registered mail or professional courier service to the date of dispatch proven by the post office stamp or a dispatch receipt.

The Expressions of Interest shall indicate the reference number of the Call (No. JER-004/2) and the name of the Applicant and shall be sent to the following address:

Postal Address:

European Investment Fund
Attention: Regional Business Development Unit
96 Boulevard Konrad Adenauer
L-2968 Luxembourg
LUXEMBOURG

The outer envelope (package) shall indicate the following:
"Expression of Interest - Reference number of the Call (No. JER-004/2) - Not to be opened by the reception - To be passed without opening to Regional Business Development Unit".

E-mail Address:

Attention: Regional Business Development Unit info.rbd@eif.org

Prior to the Deadline and in the same manner as specified above, the Applicants may change or amend their Expressions of Interest by clearly indicating the parts to be changed or amended.

Prior or after the Deadline and in the same manner as specified above, the Applicants may withdraw their Expressions of Interest.

After the Deadline, an acknowledgement of receipt will be sent to the relevant Applicants by EIF via e-mail, which shall state the following:

  • Unique proposal identifier (Expression of Interest number);
  • Reference number of the Call for Expression of Interest;
  • Date and time of receipt.

The acknowledgement of receipt shall not be construed as a declaration of completeness of the Expression of Interest and the documents submitted therewith, nor any kind of assessment of the same.

7. Selection process  

When selecting Financial Intermediaries, EIF is committed to respecting fundamental principles, such as the principles of:

i) equal treatment,

ii) non-discrimination,

iii) confidentiality and

iv) transparency.

The Expressions of Interest will be examined by the EIF using professional analysis and judgment, taking into account the Selection Criteria.

The EIF will reject those Expressions of Interest which do not comply with the Eligibility Criteria. Financial Intermediaries, whose application is rejected because of non-compliance with any of the elements reflected in the statement regarding situations of exclusion (Appendix 4 to Annex 1 hereto), may not present themselves for consideration in subsequent Calls for the Expression of Interest unless it is specifically evidenced that the reason for the exclusion no longer exists.

Applicants which are not excluded according to the Eligibility Criteria will go through the EIF selection process based on the Quality Assessment Criteria. The further selection based on the Quality Assessment Criteria, and the due diligence process if any, follows the standard procedures and guidelines applied by EIF to its business.

In any phase of the selection process, EIF reserves itself full discretion to consider Financial Intermediaries and no Applicant has any claim or other right or may expect to be ultimately selected for financial support by the JHF.  

Similarly, any negotiation of terms and conditions of Operational Agreements by no means entails any obligation for the EIF and/or the JHF to enter into such Operational Agreement with the relevant Financial Intermediaries.

Financial Intermediaries which do not receive contributions from the JHF are informed accordingly; EIF is under no obligation to communicate any motivation of the refusal to consider a Financial Intermediary for support from the JHF.

8. Operational Provisions

The Financial Intermediaries, with which Operational Agreements will be eventually signed, shall be required to comply with the EIF anti-fraud policy, available in the website of EIF (www.eif.org), and with the relevant monitoring, reporting, publicity and auditing obligations required by the EU regulations applicable to ERDF and by the Funding Agreement. Such obligations are briefly described in the relevant Financial Instrument description documents, and will be mentioned in the relevant Operational Agreement.

ANNEXES

Annex 1.         Expression of Interest (PDF format), (Word format).

Annex 2.         Funded Risk Sharing Financial Instrument: Description and Selection Criteria


Notes:

1. Such Operational Programme approved by the European Commission Decision K (2007) 3740 of 30 July 2007.

2. Council Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1260/1999 (Official Journal of the European Union L210 of 31.07.2006).

3. Official Journal of the European Union L371 of 27.12.2006.


 
 

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