The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 100 million loan to Bonnier AB of Sweden, a family-owned media and publishing company founded in 1804. The transaction will support the company’s RDI efforts until 2018. The operation is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) under the Investment Plan for Europe.
The transaction will support research, development and innovation (RDI) investments for the development of new content as well as content delivery platforms. Thus, it will support Bonnier’s migration to a digital business model for areas such as books, magazines, broadcasting and news. The main objective of the operation is to strengthen local media content production in the Nordic region, while consequently safeguarding jobs in the highly competitive media industry.
“Under the Investment Plan for Europe, one of the Bank’s focal points is to support innovation," said Jan Vapaavuori, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending operations in Sweden. “The media landscape is becoming ever more competitive so investments in innovation and digitalisation will remain very important. This kind of operation really shows where the EIB can be of added value for European companies, in any sector.”
“I am pleased that the EIB has chosen Bonnier for a loan under the Investment Plan for Europe,” stated Tomas Franzén, CEO of Bonnier AB. “With 200 years of sector experience, we are committed to staying in the media business. To succeed, we are transforming from a traditional print and broadcast company into a digital media group, something we are in the midst of. This requires substantial investments for which this loan provides valuable support.”
Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President responsible for the Digital Single Market, commented: "European companies should be able to fully grasp digital opportunities. We help them very concretely with the Investment Plan and also with our Digital Single Market strategy. In particular we have just presented new copyright rules which support European creators and offer broader access to content for Europeans."
This is the third EIB operation in Sweden that falls under the Investment Plan for Europe of the Juncker Commission, meaning that the operation is guaranteed by funds from the EU budget, in order to enable the EIB to take on more innovative higher-risk projects.
The European Investment Bank Group lent EUR 2.02 billion to projects in Sweden last year. Nearly EUR 1.7 billion of this came through lending operations of the European Investment Bank (EIB), with the remainder provided through guarantee transactions with Swedish intermediaries and investment into funds of funds by the European Investment Fund (EIF).
The EIB is providing €60 million in financing to RTBF for the Media Square development set to host the public-service broadcaster for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The EU bank is signing this operation under its innovation and climate action priorities.
The European Investment Fund (EIF), the arm of the EIB Group specialising in risk capital instruments, risk financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and innovation, and Bpifrance, the French public investment bank, have signed a financial agreement to increase lending to innovative SMEs and mid-caps in France thanks to the guarantee financed from the EU budget under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The European Commission (EC) and the EIB Group will deploy the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE) via EFSI.