The European Investment Bank (EIB) and BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions have signed a partnership agreement on a pan-European 400m (£309.9m) funding deal for SMEs and midcaps.
BNP said the funding would enable it to finance entrepreneurial projects in five countries: France, the UK, Belgium, Spain and the Netherland. 60% of the funding will be dedicated to the French market, it added.
The criteria for eligible companies for funding cover;
– Independent SMEs employing less than 250 people and established in one of the 28 member states of the European Union;
– Independent midcaps employing less than 300 people and established in one of the 28 member states of the European Union.
Each financed project will cover a maximum amount of 25m, and involved companies will benefit from the EIB intervention by means of reduced interest rates on their credit or on their leasing, said BNP.
The lessor highlighted regular business partners of agriculture, construction and public works, handling, transport, office equipment, IT, telecoms, specialised technologies as the business sectors it thought would take advantage of the deal.
Charlotte Dennery, chief executive officer of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, said: "Considering the whole range of operations we are financing as a European leader in professional equipment’s leasing, we inject close to 10bn every year into the economy and I am glad that we signed this partnership with the EIB for a significant amount of 400m. These subsidised financings will directly benefit to a large base of small and middle-market companies, which are key to the vitality of our economies and will allow them to develop their business".
"I am very pleased to sign this major financing agreement with BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions", also commented Ambroise Fayolle, vice-president of the EIB. "With this new credit line, we are committed to supporting employment, competitiveness and growth of the SMEs and the midcaps. We promote economic dynamism which is essential to our European economies. Our support in favour of companies is reinforced by the European Fund for Strategic Investment (SIEF), a key component of the investment plan for Europe, also called "plan Juncker."
To date, the EIB Group has approved more than 200 projects with the guarantee of the SIEF, which will mobilise a total investment of 76, nearly a quarter of the target total of 315bn, in 23 countries of the European Union."