>@EIB/Dimitris Papamitsos

The European Investment Bank (EIB) today signed a EUR 15 million financing agreement with Creta Farms SA, marking the first EIB transaction in Greece that benefits from the support of the EU budget guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financing arm of the Investment Plan for Europe.

“I am delighted to be here in Greece to sign this EUR 15 million transaction with Creta Farms. Funding for this innovative company is the latest step under the Investment Plan for Europe in Greece, in line with the EIB Group’s strong track record of supporting the Greek economy over many years. The EU Bank will continue to support key investments in Greece that will promote growth and help create quality new jobs, both under the Investment Plan for Europe and through its other financial instruments,” said EIB Vice President Jonathan Taylor.

Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Today is a very important day for Greece under the Investment Plan for Europe: the first EIB project to be financed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is being signed. Creta Farms will use the new finance to invest in RDI and grow their innovative, agri-food business. I hope many more Greek companies in food, industry and tourism will soon benefit from the Investment Plan. I encourage companies in Greece to make use of the expertise at the EIB which has established an expanded team in Greece, as well as the European Investment Advisory Hub.”

The Creta Farms financing signed today is a EUR 15 million loan with a tenor of five years. The terms of the financing have been tailored to best fit the company's growth plans. In a real sense the EIB, with the support of EFSI, is 'banking on' the company's growth. The company's strategy involves the development of new product lines in the cold cut meat and dairy food industry. The investment to be financed will improve the company’s competitiveness, both domestically and in export markets. This will help to create more than 100 quality new jobs in Greece.

Commenting on the agreement, Emmanouil Domazakis, President of Creta Farms, said: “We are investing in innovation and international expansion. Today’s agreement is an endorsement of the actions that the company has made in recent years. We are leaders once more, the first Greek company to be included in the Investment Plan for Europe. It is an honour for us that the European Investment Bank, an internationally recognised institution, stands beside us on the implementation of our Plan for Research and Innovation, in the development of know-how and in the expansion of our products in international markets.”

Konstantinos Domazakis, Vice-President of Creta Farms, stated: “In the past we had referred to our focus on research development and innovation. We had also referred to the swift development on the international environment. Today everything we had foreseen is verified. The biggest investment institution in Europe shows its trust in us, recognising the prospects of our company in the coming years. We will continue to invest in innovation. In the coming years, our company will present many, important things in Greece and abroad.”

EIB Vice President Jonathan Taylor added: “The EIB is proud of its record of supporting the Greek economy.  Last year, for example, we signed some EUR 1.35 billion of loans in Greece, supporting investments by the public and private sectors. The EU Bank is the sole International Financial Institution to have been consistently active in this country throughout the crisis. But we have recognised that in these exceptional times, the Bank needs to do even more. This is why we decided to re-double our efforts to meet the needs of the corporate sector in Greece. We have done this by strengthening our team here on the ground in Athens.”

Since 2008, the EIB Group provided over EUR 12 billion in loans and guarantees in Greece. Outstanding EIB loans total around EUR 18 billion, approximately 10% of the country’s GDP.