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EIF selects BPM Capital as first Fund Manager for the Baltic Innovation Fund

    Date: 13 February 2013
EIF has completed the selection process of the first Fund Manager to receive a capital commitment from the Baltic Innovation Fund. A decision taken by the EIF earlier in February confirmed the intention to make a capital commitment of EUR 30 million to BPM Capital, subject to satisfactory negotiation of the legal documentation. This commitment would be composed of EUR 15 million from the Baltic Innovation Fund together with a further EUR 15 million from the ‘Mezzanine Facility for Growth’ also managed by the EIF on behalf of the European Investment Bank (EIB).

BPM Capital is raising a Mezzanine Fund focussed on supporting the growth potential of promising SMEs, with a target size of EUR 50m and EUR 70m hard cap. The investment period of the fund is expected to begin in Q2 2013, as soon as the first closing will be achieved.

European Investment Fund’s Chief Executive, Richard Pelly stated, “Our decision to approve the proposed commitment to BPM Capital illustrates EIF’s capability to commit significant levels of capital from a combination of sources to selected Fund Managers, enabling them to invest successfully across the Baltic Region. BPM Capital’s team has a strong local track record and the combination of skills and expertise to succeed in this market.”

The Baltic Innovation Fund is a new and innovative investment initiative dedicated to boosting equity investments made into Baltic enterprises that was designed and launched by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and created by cooperation between the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Lithuania. The Baltic Innovation Fund will invest EUR 100 million into private equity, mezzanine and venture capital funds focussed on the Baltic States over the next four years applying the ‘fund of funds’ model to further develop equity investment levels into Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Kalmer Kikas, Managing Partner of BPM Capital added, “We are very grateful for the confidence that EIF has placed in the BPM Capital team. Our aim is to fill the evident gap in the respective capital market for SMEs by providing tailor made mezzanine and equity financing solutions. BPM Capital targets mainly sponsorless expansion and acquisition projects facilitating growth in the Baltic countries and Poland”.

About the Baltic Innovation Fund

The Baltic Innovation Fund is an initiative created by cooperation between the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania and EIF that is unique in its nature across Europe. It is a EUR 100m Fund of Funds initiative with EIF partnering with three important national agencies – LGA (Latvia), KredEx (Estonia) and INVEGA (Lithuania). This unique trans-national process provides a real opportunity to further develop the Baltic PE & VC market.

About the Mezzanine Facility for Growth

The Mezzanine Facility for Growth is a separate mandate managed by EIF on behalf of the EIB to be invested in hybrid Debt /Equity funds throughout Europe, with a view to playing a catalytic role in this market segment. The purpose of this particular asset class is to provide alternative financing to support, for instance, shareholding reorganisation or expansion for more mature businesses and late stage or expansion technology companies.

About EIF

EIF's central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance.  EIF 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 private equity funds amounted to over EUR 6.9bn at end 2012. With investments in over 435 funds, the EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. The EIF guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 4.8bn in close to 255 operations at end 2012, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

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