The European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term financing institution of the European Union (EU), is investing EUR 8 million(1) in expansion of EBM Principia FCR, a venture capital fund set up in December 1998 by Fundación Retevisión, which hitherto has been its sole shareholder. The fund's capital is being raised to EUR 20 million (ESP 3.3 billion)(1), of which the EIB is contributing 40% and Fundación Retevisión will hold the remaining 60%.

The object of EBM Principia FCR is to acquire stakes in innovative SMEs geared to modernising Spain's technological infrastructure in the audiovisual and telecommunications sectors. With its current resources, the fund plans to obtain, in principle minority, holdings for estimated amounts of between EUR 300 000 and 3 million (between ESP 50 million and 500 million) in fifteen investments. The two investors, the EIB and Fundación Retevisión, will share the risk on the investment in SME companies.

Management has been entrusted to EBM S.G.E.C.R.(2), S.A., a company specialising in venture capital funds whose equity is held by EBN Bank and Benito & Monjardín, selected by Fundación Retevisión for this purpose.

The EIB was created in 1958 by the founding treaty of the European Economic Community, the Treaty of Rome. It was set up to contribute to the integrated and balanced development of the Member States, as well as to their economic and social cohesion, by providing long-term finance for capital investment fulfilling EU objectives.Under its Amsterdam Special Action Programme (ASAP) to promote employment, the EIB is developing new financial products aimed at high-tech or growth-oriented SMEs, with a view to harnessing their strong potential for creating stable jobs. To this end, the Bank has established the European Technology Facility, managed by the European Investment Fund, as well as setting up venture capital funds jointly with EU Member States' institutions.Owned by the EU Member States, the EIB raises the resources for its lending operations on the capital markets, where its bond issues are consistently rated AAA.

(1) EUR 1 = ESP 166.386.

(2) S.G.E.C.R. = Sociedad Gestora de Entidades de Capital Riesgo.