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Call for Expressions of Interest to select Financial Intermediaries that will receive resources from the EIF acting through the JEREMIE Holding Fund for the Calabria Region to implement the Funded Risk Sharing Financial Instrument

  •  
    Date: 20 February 2012 - 04 May 2012

 Calabria logo

Avviso a manifestare interesse in lingua italiana

Ref. n. Call for EoI No. JER-012/1

Please note that the deadline for the submission of the Expression of Interest, originally fixed on 13 April 2012, has been extended until 4 May 2012 at 17:00 Luxembourg Time.

Introduction

The JEREMIE initiative is a framework programme providing a series of coherent actions to promote increased access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. 

The JEREMIE initiative in the Calabria Region 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 Regional Operational Programme ERDF 2007-2013 (“Programma Operativo Regionale Calabria FESR 2007-2013”)[1] the competent regional authorities have agreed to dedicate resources to the implementation of the JEREMIE initiative with the EIF, in accordance with Article 44 of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006 [2] (hereinafter, “Reg. 1083/2006”) and in accordance with the provisions of the Funding Agreement (hereinafter, “Funding Agreement”) entered into on 11 October 2011 between the Calabria Region (hereinafter, “Calabria Region”) and the EIF. Relevant rules for implementing Reg. 1083/2006 are set out in the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1828/2006[3] (hereinafter, “Reg. 1828/2006”).

The cooperation between the Calabria Region 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 the Investment Board, members of which are nominated by the authorities of the Calabria Region (hereinafter “Investment Board”). The 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.

The JEREMIE initiative is funded by the following Operational Programme for the period 2007-2013, as described in particular in the table below:

Operational programme name

Priority axis name

ERDF Regional Operational Programme for the period 2007–2013

Asse 7: ‘Migliorare le condizioni di contesto e sostenere la competitività dei sistemi produttivi e delle imprese’ (Axis 7: improve the structural conditions and support the competitiveness of both the productive systems and the enterprises).

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.

1.     Definitions and Interpretation

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; the Financial Intermediary has to be a credit institution authorized to carry out business in Calabria Region under the applicable regulatory framework;

Deadline

means 13 April 2012;

Financial Instrument

Funded Risk Sharing;

Eligibility Criteria

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

EIB Group

The EIB Group consists of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF);

JEREMIE

means the initiative “Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises” launched by the Commission and the 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 the Calabria Region, 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 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.

2.     Holding Fund manager

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

Under the Funding Agreement, the EIF may be substituted in its role as JHF. In the event of such substitution, the Calabria Region, or the entity appointed by the Calabria Region as new JHF, will assume the full discretion and responsibility to perform the tasks of the JHF and to implement the Operations in the Calabria Region, and may take over the Financial Instruments. The Operational Agreements will provide for the possible substitution of the EIF, in order to allow the transfer of the Operational Agreements to the successor entity.

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.

 It is planned to allocate out of the JHF an amount up to EUR 42 million to the Financial Instrument.

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

Financial Instrument

Indicative capital allocation (millions EUR)

Applicable Annexes

Funded Risk Sharing Financial Instrument

Up to 42

Annex 2 (Financial Instrument: Description and Selection Criteria)

The Financial Intermediaries shall clearly express their interest for a contribution (in terms of amount requested) of minimum EUR 21 million and may express their interest for a contribution up to the total amount allocated by the JHF to the Financial Instrument.

The indicative capital allocated to the Financial Instrument, as well as the amounts available for contribution by the JHF to the selected Financial Intermediary, may be changed as necessary, at EIF’s sole discretion, particularly if the funding available changes during the JHF implementation process or the demand for the Financial Instrument so requires.

To be noted that joint ventures and/or consortia can express their interest as long as (i) at least one member of the joint venture and/or consortia is a credit institution authorised to carry out business in the Calabria Region under the applicable regulatory framework, and (ii) they indicate/nominate one coordinating entity (credit institution) as a contractual counterpart for the EIF for the entire term of the Operational Agreement (in case of selection), and  (iii) all members of the joint venture and/or consortia assume joint and several liability for all applicable obligations. Such Applicants are required to submit one, joint Expression of Interest.

4.     Expression of Interest

Download here the Expression of Interest (Annex 1).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.

Until no later than 12 March 2012, the Applicants may request clarifications regarding the Call for EoI or the nature of the Financial Instrument. Such requests must indicate the Call for EoI reference number (JER-012/1) 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

Requests for clarifications from Applicants shall not receive individual replies. Instead, answers to all requests for clarifications received within the relevant deadline will be published together in a clarification document to be posted on this website at: www.eif.org.

The 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 the EIF discover any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any other type of clerical defect in the text of the Call for EoI before the Deadline, the EIF will correct the text and inform accordingly.

 5.     Language

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

6.     Submission of Expression of Interest

The Expressions of Interest shall be submitted on or before the Deadline both by (i) e-mail (no more than 10 mega bytes per email) 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, USB Memory Stick).

The Deadline for the submission of Expressions of Interest is 13 April 2012.

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-012/1) 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-012/1) - 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;
  • Confirmation that the Expression of Interest was received before the Deadline.

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 respect fundamental principles, such as:

i) equal treatment,

ii) non-discrimination,

iii) confidentiality, and

iv) transparency.

The Expressions of Interest will be examined by the EIF, on a comparative basis, using professional analysis and judgment, according to 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 statements regarding situations of exclusion (Appendices 4 and 5 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.

The expiration of the Deadline shall not prevent EIF, in limited cases if deemed necessary, from requesting and receiving from Applicants clarifications on issues of a mere technical or formal nature, provided that such clarifications shall neither provide an opportunity to the respective Applicants to unduly improve their applications nor otherwise distort the competition between the Applicants.

Applicants who are not excluded according to the Eligibility Criteria and which have been providing the additional information requested to pre-selected applicants as per Appendix 2 within the deadline determined in such request from EIF will go through the EIF selection process based on the Quality Assessment Criteria in a two-step approach, with the first constituting a desk-based analysis (Quality Assessment Criteria 2.1 and 2.7) and the second being a due diligence process (Quality Assessment Criteria 2.8 and 2.10).

To be preselected for due diligence, a minimum score of 48 is required for the desk-based analysis. Following desk-based analysis, the Applicant(s) not preselected for due diligence process will be informed accordingly. The selection based on the Quality Assessment Criteria, and the due diligence process, if any, follows the standard procedures and guidelines applied by the EIF to its business. The evaluation of proposals at this phase will be conducted under competitive terms and it is envisaged to select one or more Applicants. If, for any reason, an Operational Agreement is not signed with an Applicant initially selected, the EIF reserves the right to consider increasing the amount negotiated with (an)other Applicant(s) initially selected (in case more than one is selected). Applicants who are not considered for contractual negotiations may constitute a reserve list, with a validity of maximum one year following notification. During this period of time and in case the EIF does not proceed further with any of the selected Applicant(s) for contractual negotiations or if additional funding is made available, the EIF reserves itself the right to revert back to the Applicants included in the reserve list and initiate contractual negotiations with any of them, taking into consideration the results of the evaluation and the ranking formed.

In any phase of the selection process, the 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. Any negotiation of terms and conditions of Operational Agreements by no means entails any obligation for EIF and/or 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; the reasons for their Expression of Interest being rejected may be clearly communicated to them upon request. Those Applicants, whose Expression of Interest is rejected, shall have the right to submit a written complaint by e-mail and registered mail or professional courier service, to the same address used for the submission of the Expressions of Interest above. Any complaints will be dealt within the framework and in accordance with the EIB Group complaints policy (for further information please visit www.eib.org).

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, 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 defined in the relevant Operational Agreement.

Download here:



[1] Such Operational Programme approved by Decision of the European Commission C(2007) 6322 del 07.12.07.

[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), as amended from time to time.

[3] Commission Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006 of 8 December 2006 setting out rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Regional Development Fund (Official Journal of the European Union L371 of 27.12.2006), as amended from time to time, including by Commission Regulation (EC) No 846/2009 of 1 September 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006 setting out rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Regional Development Fund (Official Journal of the European Union L250 of 23.09.2009).


 
 

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