InvestEU: EIF and CDP lend €70 million to Anima Alternative 2 Fund to promote growth of small businesses

    Date: 07 March 2023
  • Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) will invest €40 million and €30 million respectively in Anima Alternative 2
  • The Fund has mobilised subscription commitments worth over €120 million and is the first diversified debt instrument in Italy supported by the European Union’s InvestEU programme

Promoting investment in Italy and Europe, offering new growth opportunities to small and medium-sized enterprises via long-term financing, helping to develop even the most complex projects, are the objectives of the Anima Alternative 2 Fund of Anima Alternative Sgr, in which Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and the European Investment Fund (EIF, part of the EIB Group), as cornerstone investors, have pledged to invest a total of €70 million (€40 million from CDP and €30 million from the EIF, respectively).

This new Fund, which targets investments in small and medium-sized businesses in Italy and to a lesser extent in the rest of Europe, has already received subscription commitments from professional investors to the tune of over €120 million, thus exceeding the minimum threshold to be able to start operations.

The funds committed by the EIF are backed by InvestEU, the EU programme aiming to trigger €372 billion worth of investments by 2027 via a guarantee of €26.2 billion. Anima Alternative 2 is the first diversified debt fund operation in Italy under the InvestEU programme, 75% implemented by the EIB Group (EIB and EIF) and 25% covered by national promotional institutions such as CDP, which at the beginning of February signed the third agreement with the European Commission aimed at mobilising total investments worth €1.2 billion in Italy.

Anima Alternative 2, promoted and supported by the ANIMA Group, is a direct lending alternative investment fund focused mainly on Italy. The Fund’s investment strategy comprises (i) the provision of mostly senior and variable rate loans, and (ii) diversification of the portfolio with a view to reducing risk. The Fund[1] will invest in small businesses that need long-term financing to support their external and organic growth.

Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of CDP Dario Scannapieco said“Thanks to this operation, CDP continues to support investments in Italy and Europe and facilitate access to credit for small businesses, including via innovative finance instruments. This agreement further strengthens CDP’s role in facilitating access to the funding and development opportunities offered by the European Union. CDP is thus pursuing its commitment to Italian companies’ growth plans in terms of innovation, sustainability and internationalisation, in keeping with the goals of the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan.”

“The EIF is delighted to support the launch of Anima Alternative 2, a new fund investing in sound, sustainable businesses, and will provide it with tailor-made, long-term financing”, said EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt. “As part of the EIB Group, InvestEU’s main implementing partner, the EIF will leverage €11 billion of InvestEU funds to unlock €145 billion of investment in small and medium-sized businesses, infrastructural and private sector projects”.

Less than two years after the first closing of Anima Alternative 1, we are pleased with the interest expressed by investors in the company’s second fund. This is an ideal tool to provide small businesses with medium to long-term financing tailored to their needs but, likewise, it is an investment solution to safeguard against excess volatility by opting to invest in variable-rate instruments that can accommodate interest rate fluctuations,” said Anima CEO Alessandro Melzi d’Eril.

Background information

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 by helping them to access finance and venture capital. The EIF is also active in supporting climate fund investments and infrastructure with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment. In 2022, the EIF provided over €9 billion to finance small businesses and green projects, aiming to unlock around €97 billion in investment to promote climate neutrality, the digital transition of European industries and the competitiveness of EU entrepreneurs. Against the backdrop of challenging economic prospects for 2023, the EIF intends to make progress with the InvestEU programme, REPowerEU and other initiatives, such as the European Tech Champions Initiative.

The InvestEU Programme provides the European Union with long-term loans to unlock large-scale public and private sector funding in support of a sustainable economy. It helps to generate additional investments in line with the European Union's priority policies such as the European Green Deal, the digital transition and support for small businesses. InvestEU brings together all EU financial instruments under one roof, making the financing of investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. It has three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is implemented via financial partners investing in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. This guarantee increases their risk-taking capacity, thereby mobilising at least €372 billion in additional investments.

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) is the national promotional institution that has supported the Italian economy since 1850. It is committed to accelerating the industrial and infrastructural development of the country in order to contribute to its economic and social growth. CDP’s core activity promotes the sustainable development of the regions as well as the growth and innovation of Italian companies, including internationally. It partners with local authorities, providing funding and advisory activities to build infrastructure and improve public utility services. It is also active in the area of international cooperation to implement projects in developing countries and emerging markets. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti is financed from entirely private resources via passbook savings accounts and postal savings bonds and through issues on the national and international financial markets.

Anima Anima Group is Italy’s leading independent asset management operator, with total assets under management of €177 billion (at end-December 2022). It was established following the merger of several companies with different but complementary specialisations, and currently has over 300 employees in Italy. It creates and manages forward-looking, flexible investment solutions built around the specific needs of clients: institutional investors (insurance and financial groups, pension funds, social security funds), companies and private individuals. The parent company Anima Holding is a public company that has been listed on the Milan Stock Exchange since 2014. In 2020, the Group expanded with the creation of Anima Alternative Sgr, a company focused on investments in private markets under the management of Anima Holding.

Press contacts

EIF: Lorenzo Squintani,, mobile: +366 57 90 312
Website: — Press Office: +352 4379 21000

CDP: Media Relations, tel.: +39 (0)6 4221 4000 — Website:

Barabino & Partners
Tel.: +39 02 72023 535
Emma Ascani
Agota Dozsa 

Tel.: +39 02 80638 410
Matteo Tagliaferri
Giovanni Masini

[1] dedicated to institutional clients and classified in accordance with Article 8 of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant pages.


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