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Norrlandsfonden gets European Guarantee Fund backing to support Swedish SMEs

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    Date: 28 April 2021
  • Swedish NPI Norrlandsfonden has signed-up for a  guarantee from the EIF under the European Guarantee Fund to support companies in Northern Sweden.
  • The guarantee is expected to allow Norrlandsfonden to make available up to €19 million, to support SMEs in their target area.
  • Through this agreement, Norrlandsfonden increases its ability to finance sustainable growth companies with more favourable conditions for the companies.

An agreement signed by Norrlandsfonden and the European Investment Fund will provide fresh funding for Northern-Swedish SMEs looking to grow their way out of the crisis. The EIF guarantee, provided under the “European Guarantee Fund” which is part of the €540 billion EU-rescue package agreed last year, will allow Norrlandsfonden to make available up to €19 million in new lending. The beneficiaries, small companies in the five northern regions of Sweden, can count on more favourable lending conditions under the scheme.

”The EIF gives Norrlandsfonden enhanced opportunities to contribute to investments in companies and strengthen their competitiveness. This will also increase the companies’ ability to grow themselves out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the EIF we now have the resources to be more dynamic in our financing offer. We are ready for even more companies to be attracted by our offer.” says Niklas Jonsson, CEO of Norrlandsfonden.

The European Guarantee Fund was founded recently by the European Investment Bank Group (comprising the EIB and the EIF) and EU Member States to ensure that SMEs with sustainable business plans are provided liquidity to overcome COVID-19 related adversities, and that healthy business are supported to grow.

The European Guarantee Fund is demonstrating its relevance throughout the EU.” said EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard. “The fact that we can partner with Norrlandsfonden to channel much needed financing to northern-Swedish SMEs is an important statement about the importance and timeliness of this crisis-instrument. We have worked with Norrlandsfonden in normal times, and are happy to build on that relationship also in these extraordinary circumstances.

EIB Group Vice-President Thomas Östros added: “In many ways, Northern Sweden leads the way when it comes to good growth prospects and strong industrial development. However, like in the rest of Europe, SMEs now need short-term support to find their way out of the ongoing economic crisis caused by the COVID-pandemic. The European Guarantee Fund, which the EIB Group is implementing across the EU, shows that shared problems can be solved by shared solutions.”

Background Information:

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.

The European Guarantee Fund (EGF) was set up by the EIB Group with contributions from Sweden and other EU Member States to shield companies suffering from the COVID-19 crisis. Using nearly €25 billion in guarantees, the EGF allows the EIB and the EIF to quickly make loans, guarantees, asset-backed securities, equity and other financial instruments available to mostly small and medium-sized enterprises. The EGF is part of the European Union’s recovery package aiming to provide a total of €540 billion boost those parts of the EU economy that have been hit the worst. So far, around €5 billion of financing has already been signed with companies all over the EU.

Established in 1961 as a foundation, Norrlandsfonden is a Swedish government-supported initiative set-up as a specialised institution for promotion of the economic activity and support of manufacturing companies in the North of Sweden (Norrland). Operating from two main offices in Luleå and Sundsvall, Norrlandsfonden provides high-risk financing in cooperation with banks and venture capital players. The fund works to promote the development of companies in the counties of Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Jämtland and Gävleborg, investing across all business sectors with an interest in companies in new technology and business areas with an opportunity for growth. Norrlandsfonden offers loans for establishment, development and expansion with different loans, guarantees and guaranties dependent on the investment opportunity. They lend, on average, SEK 300 million.

Press contacts:

EIB Group: Tim Smit, +352 691 286423, t.smit@eib.org

Norrlandsfonden: Niklas Jonsson, +46 70 535 13 75, niklas.jonsson@norrlandsfonden.se

 

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