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First in Europe: EUR 100 million of equity finance for Belgian SMEs under the EIF-NPI Fund Underwriting Programme

    Date: 14 February 2019

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company (SFPI-FPIM) have signed the first agreement in Europe under the EIF-NPI Fund Underwriting Programme. SFPI-FPIM will provide EUR 100 million to businesses in Belgium to be combined with EIF resources. The objective of the programme is to support fast-growing SMEs and small mid-caps, which are either established in or operating mainly in Belgium.

The programme will target VC funds based both inside and outside Belgium, with SFPI-FPIM committing a maximum of EUR 100 million to support investment in Belgian companies. As part of the programme, EIF will transfer part of its investments into VC funds to SFPI-FPIM, when these funds invest onward into Belgian-based growth-focused companies, matching SFPI-FPIM’s investment strategy for supporting growth finance across Belgium.

SFPI-FPIM is the first National Promotional Institution (NPI) to sign up to the newly launched EIF-NPI Fund Underwriting Programme and will be helping to attract additional investment into Belgium, including through international VC funds which may be investing in Belgian companies for the first time. EIF has a very broad range of cooperation agreements with NPIs across the EU, and manages jointly-funded programmes in most EU Member States.  

Speaking at a signature event in Brussels, EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Roger Havenith said: “We are delighted to announce the first agreement under the new EIF-NPI Fund Underwriting Programme with SFPI-FPIM. The EIF-NPI Fund Underwriting Programme is a useful tool in the quest to defragment Europe’s VC markets. By creating a bridge between EIF’s pan-European investment community with a global outlook and Europe-based NPIs with local objectives, the programme also serves to advance EU objectives under the Capital Markets Union (CMU) action plan.”

Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance: “Sufficient access to capital often represents a challenge for fast growing SMEs. I am very excited that Belgium will play a pioneering role by signing the first agreement in Europe under the EIF-NPI Fund Underwriting Programme. It is of crucial importance that we create the right framework conditions for fast-growing SMEs and Midcaps to prosper. Our future economic growth and creation of jobs depend on it.”

Koen Van Loo, CEO of SFPI-FPIM said “Sustainable growth, competitiveness and internationalisation of Belgian SMEs and Midcaps can be promoted with tools that allow them to scale up their capacity-building, technology support and commercial activities. To address this challenge, the EIF-NPI Fund Underwriting Activity Programme with SFPI-FPIM will stimulate national but also international fund managers to target innovative and fast-growing Belgian SMEs and Midcaps. EUR 100 million of SFPI-FPIM resources will be combined with EUR 100 

million of EIF resources, to provide growth capital to Belgian companies. The combined commitments of EUR 200 million would be further multiplied by additional private-sector investors into equity funds.  This programme is also a milestone to support the investments to be realised in connection to the Belgian National Plan for Strategic Investments thanks to the mobilisation of these matching resources. 

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.


The Belgian Federal Holding and Investments Company (SFPI-FPIM) was funded in 2006 and is fully owned and controlled by the Belgian State to complete three missions. One of these missions is the support of private companies in their development and growth process. SFPI-FPIM manages around EUR 2.2 billion of assets on balance with a priority focus on Belgian related innovation, aviation/airports, networks, real estate and international investments. To that end, SFPI-FPIM invests in patient capital, in close collaboration with regional investment companies, and targets a balance between searching for socially relevant projects and realising an acceptable financial return.

Press contacts:

EIF mandate:
Leonidas Gikas

Tel.: +352 24 85 81 749
e-mail: l.gikas@eif.org 

EIF media:
David Yormesor

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

Koen Van Loo
Tel.: +322 548 52 21
e-mail: k.vanloo@sfpi-fpim

Céline Vaessen
Tel.: +322 548 52 21
e-mail: c.vaessen@sfpi-fpim.be


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