The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a loan agreement with textile systems company Van De Wiele of Kortrijk, Belgium. The EIB is partnering with the technology driven family-owned company by extending a loan of EUR 100 million to be applied for a three-year programme focussing on cutting edge R&D investments in the areas of textile machinery, production processes and advanced manufacturing technologies.

Founded in Flanders in 1880, Van De Wiele is a market leading company with more than 3000 employees and subsidiaries throughout Europe, USA and China, all trendsetters in their fields thanks to consistent R&D development. The company is a major player in textile machine technology and a leading manufacturer of carpet and velvet weaving machines, electronic Jacquards and textile machines components. The three-year programme supported by the EIB will allow Van De Wiele to improve functionality, productivity, serviceability and energy efficiency, thereby enhancing the overall cost/performance ratio for their customers.

EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom said: “I’m glad that the EIB can team up with a company like Van De Wiele. Being a world-leading business while being family-owned is a very impressive feat and I think they deserve praise and strong backing for that. Again this year, the European Investment Bank has shown its commitment and support for Belgian businesses and we aim to continue on this path in coming years.”

Van De Wiele’s RDI programme consists in three areas, the most important one being R&D investments in the area of textile machinery, related components and sub components, for example for machine automation control systems. Other areas are development and enhancement of production processes to increase the efficiency and reduce costs, and capital investment in advanced manufacturing technologies at Van De Wiele’s main manufacturing locations. Investments will be made mainly in Belgium, with attention also going to facilities in Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK.

Van De Wiele said of the agreement: “We welcome The EIB as a long term partner in our business. Their proactive and cooperative approach in analysing our file impressed us. We consider EIB as a thorough partner in satisfying and diversifying our long term financing needs.”

Law firm LAGA assisted Van De Wiele in the context of this financing transaction.