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Investment Plan for Europe: EIF and Tenax agreement to provide EUR 50 million to Italian SMEs

    Date: 27 July 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Tenax Capital Limited (Tenax) have signed an InnovFin SME guarantee agreement, benefiting from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is at the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The EU’s support for innovative Italian companies is expected to generate a portfolio of EUR 50 million of financing this time around. With this agreement, EIF will provide guarantees to mini-bonds that Tenax will make available to innovative companies in Italy over the next 2 years. The transaction complements well the offer of traditional financing in Italy, and also diversifies further the InnovFin SME Guarantee portfolio, which is backed by Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas said: “Thanks to this new InnovFin EFSI agreement, Italian innovative SMEs and small mid-caps will benefit from a new injection of finance. Tenax will be able to provide companies with financing solutions at a reduced overall interest rate. I am pleased to see that the Investment Plan of Europe is enjoying such success in Italy and I encourage other Member States to follow its lead.”

Commenting on the signature, EIF Chief Executive Officer, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “Tenax will be able to propose financing solutions to innovative Italian SMEs as a result of this InnovFin EFSI agreement. I am pleased that EIF is actively working with financial institutions under EFSI and in Italy alone we have already provided over EUR 8 billion of finance to innovative companies in the last two years.”

Massimo Figna, Tenax Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are proud of the trust and respect we receive from the European Investment Fund, which has recognized the value of Tenax's expertise in credit analysis and how it can be used to help revive business and the economy. New openings for SMEs are appearing with the direct involvement of European institutions to support credit requirements. And for investors struggling with zero rates in government bonds, new opportunities for returns to be followed with special attention for interesting prospects in a low risk environment."

Support under EFSI, including the Tenax agreement, translates into a quicker positive impact for InnovFin agreements, leading to further investments, growth and faster economic recovery in Europe.

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. More information on EIF's work under the EFSI is available here.

About Tenax

Tenax Capital is the asset management company founded in 2004 by Massimo Figna and specializes in the global financial sector. Tenax Capital Management's philosophy is to secure equity returns with a similar volatility to the bond market and capital protection in falling equity markets.

Since its launch in February 2005, Tenax Ucits Global Financials L / S has achieved a 15% cumulative net return compared to minus 27% for the S&P Global Financials Index and 2% for the HFRX Global hedge fund index, with an annualized volatility similar to that of a bond (5%).

In 2012, Tenax Capital had already launched the Tenax Credit Opportunity Fund, the first foreign credit fund approved by the Bank of Italy for institutional investors, selecting debt in high-quality companies mainly in Central and Northern Europe. The main investors in the Tenax Credit Opportunity Fund are European insurance companies.

About the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan focuses on removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects and making smarter use of new and existing financial resources. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The European Investment Bank (EIB) estimates that by July 2016, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) triggered more than EUR 115.7 billion of investment in Europe.

Find out the latest EFSI figures including a break-down by sector and by country here. For more information see the FAQs.

About InnovFin

The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between EUR 25,000 and EUR 7.5 million in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small mid-caps (up to 499 employees). The facility is managed by EIF, and is rolled out through financial intermediaries – banks and other financial institutions – in EU Member States and Associated Countries. Under this facility, financial intermediaries are guaranteed by EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility. InnovFin SME Guarantee is part of InnovFin - EU Finance for Innovators, a new range of products to facilitate access to finance for innovation, developed under Horizon 2020.

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel: + 352 24 85 81 346, E-Mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

Tenax: John Barritt
Tel: + 44 207 003 8790, E-Mail: Barritt@tenaxcapital.com

European Commission: Siobhán Millbright
Tel: + 32 (0)2 29 57 36, E-Mail: siobhan.millbright@ec.europa.eu


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