The agreement signed will target VC funds with a European focus based outside the region of Catalonia, with ICF committing a maximum of EUR 15 million to support investment in Catalonian companies.

The Catalonian Institute of Finances (Institut Catalá de Finances, ICF) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have signed an agreement to foster and improve access to funding by providing EUR 15 million to businesses located in Catalonia, a volume to be combined with EIF resources. The agreement was signed under the EIF-NPI Fund Underwriting Programme for public promotional institutions, aimed at supporting SMEs and mid-caps.

The agreement signed will target VC funds with a European focus based outside the region of Catalonia, with ICF committing a maximum of EUR 15 million to support investment in Catalonian companies. As part of the programme, EIF will transfer part of its investments into VC funds to ICF when these funds invest onward into Catalonia-based companies matching ICF’s investment strategy for supporting equity finance for companies across this region.

ICF is the first Spanish institution to sign up to the newly launched EIF-NPI Fund Underwriting Programme for public promotional institutions and the second in Europe, helping to attract additional investment, through international VC funds. EIF has a very broad range of cooperation agreements with public promotional institutions across the EU, and manages jointly-funded programmes in most EU Member States.

Speaking at a signature event in Barcelona, EIF Director Hubert Cottogni said: “We are glad to continue strengthing the reach of this EIF programme with public promotional institutions that are contributing to facilitating funding for SMEs within the EU. "Via co-investment funding and equity investment funds supported by EIF, businesses will be able to access EUR 15 million of new finance, helping to create jobs and growth.”

Similarly, the CEO of the ICF, Josep-Ramón Sanromà, highlighted that “this agreement will allow us to reach more Catalan companies and boost their growth and expansion”. “We are convinced that this financing instrument will contribute to the growth and innovation of the Catalan economy, the main goal of the ICF as a public financial institution devoted to financing its business fabric”.

About the 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 the ICF

The ICF is the public financial entity of Catalonia, whose main mission is to promote financing for the business community in Catalonia in order to contribute to growth, innovation and the sustainability of the Catalan economy. The ICF acts as a complement to the private sector by offering a wide range of financing solutions focusing on loans, guarantees and venture capital. Since 2014, it has been a member of the European Associations Public Banks (EAPB), which groups a large proportion of the banks and public financial entities operating in Europe.

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