Production and distribution of European films is being supported by the European Investment Bank with a GBP 50 million (ECU 71 million) loan to PolyGram N.V. The EIB, the European Union's financing institution, is making the funds available to part-finance films to be produced by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, a division of PolyGram N.V., one of the world's largest entertainment groups. The EIB medium term multi-currency facility has been arranged for PolyGram by ING Bank.
EIB President and Chairman, Sir Brian Unwin KCB said: "This is the first time the EIB has financed the film industry. We are doing so because the entertainment industry in Europe is making a growing contribution to the European Union's economy and is an important job creator. Our purpose is to enhance its international competitiveness".
The films to be financed will be shot predominantly in the EU and will be targeted to the general interest and family entertainment market. The films will be chosen from PolyGram's schedule over the next two years. The EIB will benefit from the expertise of ING Bank Media Finance Group, a market leader in film financing.
The EIB was set up in 1958 to finance for capital investment furthering EU policy objectives, in particular: regional development; trans-European networks in transport, telecoms and energy; industrial competitiveness and integration; SMEs; environmental protection; and energy security. It also operates outside the EU within the framework of the EU's co-operation external policy. Owned by the Member States, the EIB raises its funds on capital markets (a AAA bond issuer). The President of the EIB, Sir Brian Unwin, assumed office in 1993 and is the first British President of the institution.ING Bank and ING Barings are part of the ING Group with over 120 offices in more than 50 countries. ING Group is the largest financial services group in the Netherlands and one of the major financial institutions of Europe.
The conversion rates used by the EIB for statistical purposes during the current quarter are those obtaining on 31/03/1997 , when 1 ECU = 0.71 GBP, 6.58 FRF , 1.16 USD.