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European Investment Fund and Enterprise Ireland launch a EUR 20m Business Angels co-investment instrument in Ireland

    Date: 09 June 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Enterprise Ireland have signed an agreement to launch the EUR 20m European Angels Fund Ireland (EAF Ireland) which will double the investment capacity of approved business angels and other non-institutional investors investing in internationally oriented SMEs.

The fund will co-invest with approved Irish Business Angels in Irish-based internationally trading SMEs with investments ranging from EUR 250K to EUR 4m over 10 years.  In recent years, Business Angels have become an increasingly important part of the funding eco-system for Irish SMEs and in 2015, Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) supported Irish Business Angels made 40 investments totalling €8.8m in Irish start-up and early-stage companies.

CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon, said: “The funding ecosystem in Ireland has seen the range of supports increase exponentially in recent years helping companies accelerate growth and increase business at home and overseas. I warmly welcome the launch of this new co-investment initiative between the European Angels Fund and Enterprise Ireland which will provide investor expertise and ensure that Irish companies can access the funding necessary to expand and grow exports over the next 10 years.”

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Enterprise Ireland in launching the EAF in the country. Business Angels can benefit from significant financial support for their investment activity while maintaining maximum freedom to operate and drawing on the expertise and network of the EIF. In addition to agreements for micro-companies and larger innovative SMEs with Enterprise Ireland, we are pleased that another SME funding source can be made available, helping to further develop the Irish venture capital and entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O' Connor TD said: “I am acutely aware that one of the most important tasks for entrepreneurs, and also one of the biggest challenges in the start-up or the expansion phase is to secure financing. There are already State supported initiatives in place such as the Employment and Investment Incentive and the HBAN Programme which promote equity financing. This new Fund will enhance the financing environment further in order to develop and grow businesses which will create employment. I want to see a broad spectrum of finance options, matching the different stages of an enterprise’s development, and business angels play a key role in supporting entrepreneurial performance.” The fund is now up and running and active and the local subadvisor invites experienced Business Angels to apply via its website at: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/equity/eaf/Ireland.htm

Notes to Editor

The European Angels Fund establishes/agrees Co-investment framework agreements (CFAs) granting a predefined amount of equity for co-investments upfront to each Business Angel for future investments over a 10 year period. All investment and divestment decisions will be taken by the Business Angels exclusively without any intervention from EAF Ireland and will be matched on a pari-passu basis, i.e. by the same amount by the European Angels Fund.

The volumes available in total under an individual CFA range between EUR 250k and EUR 4m. The European Angels fund does not pay a fee to the Business Angel but shares investment-related costs on a pro-rata basis. 20% carry payments from the European Angels Fund to the Business Angel increase even further the upsides of the investments for the latter. EAF Ireland runs in a lean and cost-efficient manner, with minimal administrative and reporting burden.

EAF Ireland is a co-investment instrument and therefore provides financing to Business Angels (BAs) and other non-institutional investors (NIIs) wanting to invest into internationally oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), most of the funds are intended for investments in the SMEs based or active in Ireland but certain percentage can be invested in foreign firms.

EAF Ireland will be managed by EIF in cooperation with Mr. Drew O’Sullivan as a local sub-advisor. EAF Ireland is part of the pan-European initiative European Angels Fund (EAF) run by EIF.

About the EIF

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 (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance 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.

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish government agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish companies internationally in order to grow exports and jobs. Enterprise Ireland works with entrepreneurs and businesses to help them to start-up, develop innovative products and services, and scale internationally. Enterprise Ireland facilitates access to international markets through its international office network, supports business strategy & management capability training and provides finance, investment and research expertise. www.enterprise-ireland.com

About HBAN

The Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) is an all-island umbrella group responsible for the development of business angel activity on the island of Ireland. HBAN is actively working to increase the number of angel investors and syndicates who are interested in investing in early stage technology, MedTech, AgriTech & food companies and supporting the early stage entrepreneurial community.  HBAN is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland and InterTrade Ireland.

EAF Ireland contacts:

Mr. Drew O’Sullivan
EAF Ireland local subadvisor
Tel.: +353 866041184, e-mail: drew.osullivan@serafina.org

Mr. David Yormesor
Tel.: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org
Website: www.eif.org/eaf

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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