A EUR 100 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) is to support the research and development (R&D) activities of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), focusing on digitisation, software integration and expansion of the digital printing portfolio. To help finance the R&D programme, which will span several years, the EIB is providing the company with a development loan that can be drawn down in tranches, each with a seven-year term. This is the first time a large German company has benefited from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – the centrepiece of the Investment Plan for Europe.
“I’m delighted that our first EFSI project for a German corporate customer allows us to support a company whose products and services have long enabled it to stand its ground in a challenging market,” said Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending in Germany. “Heidelberg proves that it pays to invest in research and development, and EFSI is helping to keep this innovative spirit alive in Europe.”
“We see the digitised and industrially organised print shop as an essential element for successful business models in our sector in the future. Working with our partners, we want to develop futureproof products and services that will help our customers to be successful,” says Gerold Linzbach, Heidelberg’s CEO.
The EIB funding will help Heidelberg drive digitisation in the industry and further expand the packaging, digital and services growth segments. One focal point in this respect is making print shops more competitive by integrating and automating the entire value chain of industrial customers. To that end systems, combined with appropriate services, will in future operate ever more autonomously. Another aim is to enable the company’s customers to expand their business models with new digital printing solutions.
Following on from last year’s comprehensive refinancing activities, the EIB loan, which has a long-term focus stretching to 2024, rounds off the company’s financing mix, helping it to continue pursuing its strategy of innovation in the field of digitisation.
“Over the next seven years, the EIB development loan will help us finance our research and development projects for digitisation on attractive terms. The financing framework is the basis for implementing the innovation strategy at Heidelberg and thus achieving the sustained profitable growth we are aiming for,” says Heidelberg CFO Dirk Kaliebe.