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Luxembourg : Juncker Plan: the EIB Group provides a first guarantee of 50 million to the new Eiffel Croissance Directe fund.

Eiffel Investment Group, a specialist in corporate finance, announces the official launch of Eiffel Croissance Directe, under the aegis of Benjamin Griveaux, Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Ambroise Fayolle, Vice- President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), in the presence of the Managing Directors of AG2R LA MONDIALE and BRED, all of whom participated in the implementation of this innovative tool for financing growth SMEs.

In the days leading up to its official launch, the fund has already financed five French SMEs for amounts ranging from 1 to 5 million euros. It targets up to 100 operations of the same type in the next few years. The current commitment of 115 million should be increased to 300 million in 2018.

The main investor is AG2R LA MONDIALE, which has committed 100 million euros. BRED is also a partner of the fund. For this launch, the EIB Group brings, through its subsidiary the European Investment Fund (EIF), a first guarantee of 50 million. EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle underlined that "this new fund is the result of an unprecedented partnership between French public authorities, the private sector and Europe".

"We are particularly proud of this fund, whose early developments are very encouraging," said Fabrice Dumonteil, President of Eiffel Investment Group. "The returns from companies are very positive and the first operations contribute to fuel this enthusiasm".

The Eiffel Croissance Directe fund is the result of an original collaboration between partners from the national and European public sphere and leading private institutions. On the basis of an unsatisfied financing requirement expressed by SMEs to the DIRECCTE le-de-France, Eiffel Investment Group entrusted the creation of the fund with a call for expressions of interest the management company won in January 2017.

Intended to complement the existing financing arrangements, this tool is distinguished by its flexibility of operation and its speed, which are particularly adapted to companies with high growth potential. It offers financing from one million euros for maturities of up to 10 years, with or without grace period. It can finance intangible investments (recruitment ...). In addition, the fund can intervene in all sectors of activity, as illustrated by the initial financing. Whether they operate in software, prt--porter or services, companies funded by the fund have in common the creation of jobs and the search for financing solutions that are flexible and adapted to their rapid growth.

Thanks to its original sourcing network, which relies to a large extent on the work carried out locally by the DIRECCTE le-de-France mission managers, as well as the BRED Banque Populaire regional offices and its process the Eiffel Croissance Directe fund is able to quickly identify and respond to financing opportunities that are submitted to it. Operational since June 2017, the fund has already received nearly 150 investment files, and made its first investments in July. In the long term, the fund aims to finance up to 100 French SMEs, for a target amount of approximately 300 million euros.

Eiffel Investment Group is already very active in the financing of small businesses (its subsidiary Alto Invest has financed more than 200 innovative SMEs in its own funds, its ready-to-lend online loan fund is already exposed to over 10,000 loans to French small businesses and European ...). The new Eiffel Growth Direct Fund complements its offering in a segment of the market - SMEs with growth of between 5 and 100 million turnover - often poorly served by traditional financing players, notably due to the cost of analysis of these small files. However, these SMEs concentrate most of the added value created on the territory and the potential for job creation. By actively targeting them.

As the principal partner of Eiffel Investment Group for this fund, AG2R LA MONDIALE has committed to invest 100 million euros of the 300 million euros that the management company expects to raise in the future. BRED Banque Populaire is co-investor. It actively participates in the identification of borrowers and in the implementation of joint bank-fund financing solutions.

A second closing is planned for the end of the year.

New funding for the Juncker Plan

This new fund also benefits from the European guarantee via the European Investment Fund (EIF), a subsidiary of the EIB, with the objective of facilitating access to financing for innovative companies while attracting other investors under the program InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility of the European Commission and the Investment Plan for Europe more commonly called Juncker Plan. Innovation and business support is a priority for the EIB Group. The Juncker Plan continues to grow in France with 89 operations approved by the EIB Group for a total amount of more than 7 billion. Thanks to this new intervention by the EIF, the EIB Group is once again supporting Eiffel Investment Group.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Sep 9, 2017
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