- Mid-caps: EUR 50 million
- “Industria 2015” (research and development): EUR 30 million
- Enterprise networks: EUR 25 million
Three separate credit lines totalling EUR 105 million have been signed in the last few days between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Centrobanca, UBI Banca Group’s Corporate and Investment Bank, to be used for financing mid-caps, enterprise networks and companies investing in research and development. This initiative reflects the close relationship between the EIB and UBI Banca Group and is intended to support Italy’s productive sector by mitigating the effects of the crisis and helping with the incipient recovery process.
Mid-caps (EUR 50 million)
The first line of finance is for projects put forward by mid-caps (firms with between 250 and 3 000 employees according to the EU definition). This operation is the third tranche of a EUR 300 million loan for mid-caps approved by the EIB in 2011 and to be agreed with various Italian credit institutions.
Enterprise networks (EUR 25 million)
Enterprise networks – free associations between firms whose goal is to increase competitiveness and innovation among their members – are to receive EUR 25 million. This form of association was recently introduced into the Italian legal system (Enterprise Networks Agreement, Law 33/2009). The EIB will be providing a total of EUR 100 million for this operation, to be shared among different Italian credit institutions.
Industria 2015 (EUR 30 million)
In response to a proposal from Confindustria, the EIB is to finance projects selected by the Economic Development Ministry under the Industria 2015 initiative. Up to 50% of investments involving firms engaged in research and development selected by the Ministry in specific fields (Made in Italy, energy efficiency and sustainable mobility) will be able to be covered by the EIB and UBI Group. The credit line approved by the EIB for Industria 2015 totals EUR 150 million.
In general, the loans will be intended either for new projects or projects in progress. For SMEs and mid-caps with projects not exceeding EUR 25 million, the finance will be able to cover the full amount of the investment (with a maximum of EUR 12.5 million per project) and may be used to purchase, construct, extend or renovate buildings, purchase plant, equipment, vehicles or machinery, cover project-related costs, additional charges and intangible assets, including research, development and innovation costs, and provide the working capital that is always needed in connection with operational activities. The operations are intended for SMEs and mid-caps in all productive sectors (agriculture, crafts, industry, commerce, tourism and services). For mid-caps with investments costing between EUR 25 and EUR 50 million, the EIB loan may not exceed 50% of the project/investment cost.
The operations for SMEs, mid-caps and enterprise networks come under the framework agreement signed three years ago between the EIB, ABI and Confindustria. The three agreements signed between the EIB and the UBI Banca Group build on the cooperation that began in 2009 with operations involving either Centrobanca (global loans for SMEs and framework loan for financing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects) or the parent company UBI as a result of numerous bilateral agreements, including operations under a covered bond issuing programme carried out in 2010 and 2011.