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Further resources for Italian SMEs as EIF signs agreement with Fondo Italiano d'Investimento

    Date: 24 October 2011

Click here for the Italian version

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Fondo Italiano d'Investimento (FII) have signed a co-investment agreement aiming at reinforcing the capitalisation, development and internationalisation of Italian SMEs with high-growth potential, through the mobilisation of private resources under public sponsorship.

EIF will make available an initial tranche of EUR 100 million that will further enhance the leverage effect of its investments in Italy. The cooperation will thus allow the two institutions to maximise their impact in Italy. The agreement covers both the information-sharing on investment opportunities as well as analysis, financial planning and monitoring. The collaboration will significantly increase the financial resources available for SMEs. It is also an important step to enhance transparency in the corporate governance of the investment funds in which the commitment is made, with the aim to attract additional capital resources from both the domestic and international market.

The initiative was presented this morning in Milan by the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Mr. Dario Scannapieco, representing the EIF, in the occasion of an event organised by the Italian Stock Exchange (Borsa Italiana) on the new financial instruments for the capitalisation of the SMEs at the presence of the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Giulio Tremonti, Mr. Gabriele Cappellini, CEO of Fondo Italiano di Investimento, Mr. Alessandro Castellano, Chief Executive Officer of SACE and Mr. Raffaele Jerusalmi, CEO of the Italian Stock Exchange.

Mr. Richard Pelly, Chief Executive of the EIF declared:  “We are very pleased to be signing this agreement which will ensure an increase of equity capital for Italian SMEs to finance innovation and growth. It will further extend the EIF`s equity and guarantee support to benefit the Italian economy."

“With this agreement, which is part of the EIB Group strategy to develop synergies with the Italian counterparts, the European Investment Fund, the fund through which the EIB Group invests in SMEs indirectly, offers its twenty-year-experience in the European private equity market. In Italy more than in other countries, SMEs represent the backbone of the economy. The agreement signed today reaffirms our commitment along with the Italian institutions to support the economy and complements the framework agreements signed with the Italian Ministry of Infrastructures, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, SACE, ABI and Confindustri, which are already fully operational", added Mr. Dario Scannapieco.

About the European Investment Fund (EIF)

EIF's central mission is to support European SMEs by helping them to access finance.  EIF primarily designs and develops venture capital and guarantees 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. The EIF total net commitments to venture capital and private equity funds amounted to over EUR 5.4bn at end 2010. With investments in over 300 funds, the EIF is the leading player in European venture capital due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in the high-tech and early-stage segments. The EIF commitment in guarantees totalled over EUR 14.7bn in close to 160 operations at end 2010, positioning it as a major European SME loan guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

Fondo italiano d'investimento SGR S.p.A. (FII)

In November 2010, FII held its first closing at EUR 1,200m. Initial investors include Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Intesa SanPaolo, Unicredit, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari (for EUR 250m each) and other five smaller private banks.

Press contacts:
  • EIF: Emanuela Schiavoni, e.schiavoni@eif.org       
  • Fondo Italiano d’Investimento Sgr: Roberto Del Giudice, Tel (+39) 02 63532.214, roberto.delgiudice@fondoitaliano.it    
Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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