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#InvestEU: EIF and NIA launch an equity co-investment programme to support SMEs and small midcaps with high-growth potential in the Netherlands

    Date: 27 September 2017

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Netherlands Investment Agency (NIA) as predecessor of Invest-NL are launching a EUR 100 million co-investment programme – the Dutch Growth Co-Investment Programme. The objective of the programme is to support innovative and fast-growing SMEs and small mid-caps, which are either established or operating in the Netherlands. The co-investment programme is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core of the Investment Plan for Europe.

EIF and NIA each commit EUR 50 million to this jointly developed programme. The combined commitments of EUR 100 million are expected to catalyse at least another EUR 100 million of private equity financing from Dutch-oriented fund managers.

EIF will manage and deploy the Dutch Growth Co-Investment Programme, through co-investments into companies targeted by the programme, alongside EIF and DVI accredited fund managers. The programme is specifically targeting the "second equity gap", which companies face when they are developing beyond the start-up stage into the growth phase of their lifecycles. The programme is not restricted to any particular sector.

The Dutch Growth Co-Investment Programme is one of the first financing programmes launched by the EIF under the EIF-NPI Equity Platform and the Investment Plan for Europe, in cooperation with EU National Promotional Institutions. The Investment Plan is expected to mobilise EUR 236.1 billion across Europe, EUR 6.4bn of which is in the Netherlands.

The agreement was announced during the StartupFest Europe in Amsterdam, an annual event aimed to support entrepreneurship in Europe. Speaking at the event, EIB Vice President, Pim van Ballekom said: “The EIB Group is a firm believer in entrepreneurship and the potential of innovative companies. This is why we are delighted that the EIF is partnering with the Netherlands Investment Agency to deliver additional finance via this co-investment scheme. By mobilising other investors, including funds from the private sector, our equity investment should lead to overall investments of more than EUR 200 million for primarily Dutch SMEs. The health of the European economy rests on its ability to innovate and EU support remains a key component. This cooperation clearly contributes towards those efforts.”

Bertholt Leeftink, Director of the Netherlands Investment Agency, said “This new cooperation between EIF and NIA as predecessor of Invest-NL is a unique way of applying EFSI financial resources to enable private venture capital funds to invest risk capital in more Dutch innovative and fast-growing companies."

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said "The Dutch Growth Co-Investment Programme launched today is precisely the type of initiative that the Investment Plan was created to support. With this new investment tool, companies that have developed beyond the start-up stage and want to scale-up can now benefit from an extra boost in financing. I am proud that the EU is supporting innovation and small businesses in the Netherlands."

About the European Investment Fund

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. EIF designs and develops both 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 the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan, is one of the European Commission's top priorities. It focuses on boosting investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB Group to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The EFSI is already showing concrete results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise more than EUR 236.1 billion in investments and support around 454,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States.

On 13 September, the European Parliament and Member States came to an agreement in principle on the extension and strengthening of the EFSI. This agreement extends the EFSI's duration as well as increases its financial capacity.

About the NIA

NIA was established by Decision of the Minister of Economic Affairs and the Minister of Finance of 30th of December 2013 – is part of the Dutch State and is an agency of the national government and is subject to the supervision by the Minister of Economic Affairs. NIA is the predecessor of Invest-NL, which will be the Dutch National Promotional Institution.

The task of NIA is to ensure optimum compliance of Dutch projects with the requirements established by or pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/1017 in order to be eligible for financing opportunities offered by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (“EFSI”) and to provide information about the objectives and possibilities of the EFSI fund.

Press contacts:

David Yormesor

Tel.: +352 42 66 88 346
e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org 

NIA/The Ministry of Economic Affairs:
Christien Stoker
Tel.: +31 70 379 70 85
e-mail: c.stoker@minez.nl

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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