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EIF and Commerzbank sign a GBP 50m committed financing facility with Asset Advantage to provide asset finance to UK SMEs

    Date: 24 November 2016

EIF and Commerzbank have signed a GBP 50m committed financing facility with Asset Advantage Limited (Asset Advantage) to provide asset financing to UK SMEs. The innovative financing facility is provided by Commerzbank and backed by an irrevocable first-demand guarantee from the European Investment Fund (EIF). The facility will enable Asset Advantage to further extend asset financing to both its existing and new customers, and provide a vital source of additional financing to SMEs throughout the UK.

George Passaris, Head of Securitisation at EIF, said: “We are very pleased to have participated in this innovative and flexible financing facility for Asset Advantage. EIF’s statutory mission is the provision of risk financing to financial intermediaries for the ultimate benefit of SMEs and we are very keen to support entities which may not have many alternative financing options. We believe that this facility will enable Asset Advantage to obtain competitively priced longer term funding, which will support its expansion and in turn enhance its ability to grow its UK SME client base.”

Commenting on the announcement, Jonathan Eddy, Managing Director of Asset Advantage, said: “We are pleased to have concluded this financing facility with Commerzbank and EIF, whose aspirations for delivering greater funding into the SME market are aligned with our own aims and it will enable us to continue to grow our lending book by providing additional funding in the SME market within the UK, while at the same time providing us with the benefits of economies of scale and competitively priced funding.”

Eoin Moore, Head of the UK-based Structured Asset Solutions team within the Advisory & Primary Markets division of Commerzbank, said: “Commerzbank has a strong track record in providing innovative financing facilities and tailored solutions to independent leasing companies in the UK. We are delighted to partner with Asset Advantage on this financing facility, which will enable the Company to continue its successful expansion and provide significant incremental leasing and asset finance to SMEs in the UK.”

About 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 Asset Advantage

Asset Advantage Group is an established asset finance business providing finance leases, hire purchase and loan products for business-critical equipment to SMEs in the UK. The group was established in 1994, and the SME lending activities in 2007. Since then it has advanced more than GBP 200m of financing to UK SMEs with annual lending now in excess of GBP 50m. In 2016, Asset Advantage won the prestigious Leasing World award for SME Champion of the Year recognising that it has SMEs at the centre of everything it does.

About Commerzbank

Commerzbank is a leading international commercial bank with branches and offices in more than 50 countries. With the two business segments Private and Small Business Customers as well as Corporate Clients, the Bank offers a comprehensive portfolio of financial services which is precisely aligned to the clients’ needs. Commerzbank finances more than 30 per cent of Germany’s foreign trade and is the unchallenged leader in financing for SMEs. The Commerzbank subsidiaries Comdirect in Germany and M Bank in Poland are two of the world’s most innovative online banks. With approximately 1,000 branches Commerzbank has one of the densest branch networks among German private banks. In total, Commerzbank boasts more than 16 million private customers, as well as 1 million business and corporate clients. The Bank, which was founded in 1870, is represented at all the world’s major stock exchanges. In 2015, it generated gross revenues of almost EUR 9.8 bn with approximately 51,300 employees.

Press contacts:

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

Asset Advantage: Zoe Newman, Zap Consult
Tel. 00 44 1252 629911, M. 00 44 7879 403622, email: zoe@zapconsult.uk

Commerzbank: Victoria Jodl
Tel.: +49 69 136 51181, e-mail: victoria.jodl@commerzbank.com


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