EIB lends EUR 130 million to Bolloré Group to finance investment in electricity storage and the activities of its subsidiary IER
- Release date: 10 January 2011
- Reference: 2011-003-EN
Today, Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Vincent Bolloré, CEO of the Bolloré Group, signed a EUR 130 million finance contract in support of the Group’s research, development and innovation (RDI) programmes in the field of electricity storage (batteries and electric vehicles) and the activities of its subsidiary IER (self-service check-in, security controls, automatic identification).
This loan – the EIB’s first to the Bolloré Group – has the twofold aim of financing the Bolloré Group’s investment in developing electrical storage systems and optimising people flow management and security (IER):
- The development of a new generation of lithium metal polymer (LMP) batteries providing a driving range of more than 250 km and ensuring the total safety of electric vehicles. This advanced technology developed by the Bolloré Group will especially be employed in fixed and mobile applications for future high-performance, environmentally friendly and totally silent electric vehicles producing no CO2 emissions.
- IER’s application of innovative technologies to automatic identification, registration and tracking in the check-in and security systems at airports and stations.
EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive welcomed the operation, saying: “I am delighted to sign this finance contract with Vincent Bolloré as a practical example of the EIB’s commitment to promoting RDI in France. We are banking on advanced technologies to spearhead sustainable economic development, create jobs and foster high-level skills, all with a direct impact on people’s daily lives”.
Vincent Bolloré praised “this strong support for both the Bolloré Group, which has been investing in electrical batteries for 18 years, and our subsidiary IER, which devotes a large part of its turnover to research and development”.
The car industry was a particular beneficiary of the EIB’s backing for RDI in 2009 and 2010. The European Clean Transport Facility (ECTF) especially enabled the substantial reduction of CO2 emissions by financing RDI throughout the sector. The EIB has lent EUR 7.9 billion to the car industry under this facility since 2008.
Note to editors:
The EIB is the bank of the European Union. Its task is mainly to provide long-term loans for viable public or private sector investment projects that foster the EU’s integration, cohesion and development in line with six priority policies: economic and social cohesion; protection of the natural and urban environments; research and innovation; support for SMEs; expansion of the trans-European transport networks and promotion of a secure, competitive and sustainable energy supply.
In 2009, it granted loans worth EUR 70 billion in the European Union – a 36% increase on the EUR 51.7 billion lent in 2008. Likewise in 2009, to boost the economy in the midst of the crisis, it granted loans totalling EUR 79 billion to local authorities and enterprises within and outside the Union. The EIB made supporting the “knowledge triangle” formed by education, R&D and innovation one of its top priorities, channelling more than EUR 18.3 billion into it in 2009 compared to EUR 12.5 billion in 2008, an increase of nearly 50%.
Bolloré is a majority family-owned group founded in 1822 and listed on Nyse Euronext Paris. It has an annual turnover of around EUR 7 billion and more than 33 000 employees worldwide. The Group’s businesses comprise international transport and logistics (Bolloré Logistics), maintenance and logistics in Africa (Bolloré Africa Logistics), fuel distribution (Bolloré Energie), electricity storage (batteries and electric vehicles, plastic film for capacitors), specialised terminals and systems (IER), communications and media (television, press) and plantations.
Alongside these businesses, the Group manages a portfolio of holdings worth around EUR 2.2 billion.