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First InnovFin guarantee in Denmark following EIF and The Danish Growth Fund (Vaekstfonden) agreement to finance innovative companies

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    Date: 23 January 2015

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and The Danish Growth Fund (Vaekstfonden) have signed an agreement to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as Small Mid-caps under InnovFin – EU finance for innovators, an initiative supported by the European Commission. The new agreement allows The Danish Growth Fund to provide innovative companies in Denmark with access to a total of DKK 1bn (circa. EUR 134m) of financing over the next 2 years with the support of a guarantee provided by the EIF and backed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. This is the first InnovFin SME guarantee signature in Denmark and the fourth in Europe, enabling The Danish Growth Fund to offer innovative companies additional financing at favourable conditions.

Commenting on the signature, EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am pleased to be signing our first Danish InnovFin SME Guarantee agreement here in Copenhagen with our long-term partner The Danish Growth Fund for the benefit of businesses in Denmark. Under previous agreements, The Danish Growth Fund supported many successful Danish businesses and I am convinced that together we can support even more innovative start-ups in Denmark over the next two years”. European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas said: “Denmark is a champion of turning ideas into viable businesses. The InnovFin SME Guarantee will add to this zeal, creating jobs and growth for our citizens and increasing competitiveness in Denmark and the EU.” The Danish Growth Fund, Chief Executive, Christian Motzfeldt added: “Our new agreement underlines the close relationship between EIF and The Danish Growth Fund. Together we are now able to provide new financing for Danish SMEs enabling them to grow and launch new innovative products. We will continue our efforts to identify new areas of cooperation between The Danish Growth Fund and EIF.

The aim of the InnovFin SME Guarantee is to encourage banks or other financial institutions to lend to SMEs and small mid-caps (firms with fewer than 500 employees) in need of investment and/or operating capital to finance research, development and innovation activities, with EU financial support. Financial institutions are being selected by the EIF following a call for expression of interest for financial intermediaries across Europe.

About InnovFin SME Guarantee

InnovFin SME Guarantee provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between €25,000 and €7.5 million, in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small midcaps (up to 499 employees). The InnovFin SME Guarantee is implemented by the European Investment Fund, and will be rolled out through financial intermediaries (banks and other financial institutions) in EU Member States and Associated Countries. Under the InnovFin SME Guarantee, financial intermediaries will be guaranteed by the EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing. InnovFin SME Guarantee is part of InnovFin - EU Finance for Innovators, a new range of EIB Group (including EIF and EIB) products to facilitate access to finance for innovative businesses. This transaction is supported with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.

About the EIF

The European Investment Fund's (EIF) 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. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 7.9bn at end 2013. With investments in over 435 funds, 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. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 5.6bn in over 300 operations at end 2013, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About The Danish Growth Fund (Vaekstfonden)

The Danish Growth Fund is a state investment fund that contributes to the creation of new companies by providing capital and expertise. Since 1992, The Danish Growth Fund has together with private investors co-financed growth in more than 5,000 Danish companies with a total commitment of more than DKK 12 billion. The Danish Growth Fund invests equity and provides loans and guarantees for small as well as medium-sized enterprises in collaboration with private partners and Danish financial institutions.

About Horizon 2020

On 1 January 2014, the European Union launched a new research and innovation funding programme called Horizon 2020. Over the next seven years almost €80 billion will be invested in research and innovation projects to support Europe’s economic competitiveness and extend the frontiers of human knowledge. The EU research budget is focused mainly on improving everyday life in areas like health, the environment, transport, food and energy. Research partnerships with the pharmaceutical, aerospace, car and electronics industries also encourage private-sector investment in support of future growth and high-skilled job creation. "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators", the new generation of EU financial instruments and advisory services was developed under Horizon 2020 to help innovative firms access finance more easily. "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" will help to inject up to EUR 48 billion in investments in Research and Innovation across Europe.

Press contacts:

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

The Danish Growth Fund (Vaekstfonden): Peter Bruun Tel. +45 40 81 35 46, e-mail: pbr@vf.dk

 

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