The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Compañía Española de Reafianzamiento (CERSA) –part of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, have signed the first InnovFin and COSME counter-guarantee agreements in Spain. These transactions benefit from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.
The EU support under the COSME programme is expected to leverage a loan portfolio of EUR 1.8 billion by providing CERSA with a counter-guarantee, allowing the organisation to substantially increase its counter-guarantee volumes to regional mutual guarantee institutions over the next 2 years. The deal signed today is expected to support more than 19,000 financially underserved SMEs in Spain.
The InnovFin deal is expected to leverage a portfolio of at least EUR 150 million of loans to benefit over 750 companies in the next 2 years. It will allow CERSA to provide counter-guarantees to regional mutual guarantee schemes which will enable them in turn to provide guarantees to banks financing innovative companies in Spain over the next 2 years. These guarantees will have the support of a counter-guarantee provided by the EIF and backed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
Commenting on the signatures in Madrid, EIF’s Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “Finance for 20,000 businesses is a substantial boost for Spanish SMEs and I am delighted that we have signed agreements with our trusted partner CERSA. These first InnovFin and COSME counter-guarantee agreements in Spain, combining two EU flagship programmes, will also benefit from the support of the EFSI guarantee. I am confident that these new deals will strengthen CERSA’s activities to benefit many more SMEs in Spain”.
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Both EFSI deals being signed today in Madrid are really positive for small, innovative companies, and for the Spanish economy. The Investment Plan is already bearing fruit in Spain and I expect many more investment projects and SME financing agreements in Spain in the coming months.”
Commenting on the operation, Mr. Victor Audera, President of CERSA, said: “The Spanish guarantee scheme has been further strengthened by the Spanish government during the last three years, through CERSA, and together with the signature of COSME and Innovfin agreements will allow to us to reach a larger number of small enterprises needing help to access financing for viable projects in the current economical context in Spain”.
«We need to promote joint projects as presented today, because the future of financing goes through Europe», sentenced the chairman of the mutual guarantees schemes in Spain, José Rolando Alvarez.
These agreements are the first InnovFin and COSME counter-guarantee transactions implemented thanks to EFSI in Spain, reflecting the EIB Group’s commitment to respond swiftly to calls from Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament for a rapid launch of concrete initiatives under EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.
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