>@MC - Mehrak Habibi
© MC - Mehrak Habibi

With the support of the European Union, the EIB Group (composed of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF)) and the Institut pour le Financement du Cinéma et des Industries Culturelles (Cinema and Cultural Industry Financing Institute – IFCIC) have presented a new offer for cultural and creative companies in the presence of French Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen.

The EIF and IFCIC have signed two guarantee contracts as part of the EU's Creative Europe support programme for the cultural creative sectors. These agreements, supported by all of IFCIC's financial partners headed by the Government and its public institutions, the CNC, and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, will make it possible to strengthen small and medium-sized cultural and creative companies’ access to financing. The deployment of this offer will also benefit from an expanded partnership between IFCIC and Bpifrance.

They will enable IFCIC to put in place a more ambitious, extensive and simplified range of loans and participating loans for businesses falling within the scope covered by the Ministry of Culture. The offer for music, live performances, bookshops, fashion designers, the press, art galleries, video games and the film and audiovisual industries has been expanded, while new sectors such as theatre, literary publishing, art and design, as well as hundreds of media and animation companies will now have access to IFCIC's loans and participating loans.

The EIB Group support will also enable IFCIC to extend its guarantee to loans granted to European film and audiovisual businesses and projects.

The EIF will provide a EUR 40m envelope for loans and participating loans that can be granted to French SMEs over the next two years. It will also give a 70% counter-guarantee to the guarantees issued by IFCIC on EUR 90m in loans to finance European film and audiovisual production companies.

The agreements signed by the EIB Group and IFCIC will therefore make it possible to grant an additional EUR 130m in loans to cultural and creative businesses in France and Europe over the next two years.

French Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen said: “I am pleased that IFCIC is strengthening its financial backing for cultural and creative entrepreneurs. This new EU-supported offer will enable IFCIC to provide assistance to more French and European cultural and creative projects. IFCIC's tools – which are guided by a general interest remit – are specifically targeted at independent players, which are essential to the diversity of cultural content, local vitality and European creation.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle commented: “I am delighted to sign this EU financing for French cultural and creative businesses via a new and ambitious partnership with IFCIC. The EU guarantee will enable 200 French creative and cultural SMEs in a wide variety of sectors to benefit from tailored and attractive financing, in parallel with the launch of an EU cross-border guarantee programme for around 100 independent European production companies that are partners of the Creative Europe programme. With the Juncker Plan, we will be able to go further in our endeavours to finance and support these artistic and creative projects contributing to the cultural and artistic influence of France and Europe.”

EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “The EIB Group helps SMEs in a number of sectors, and the cultural and creative fields remain an important part of our investment. We are delighted to continue our support for the Creative Europe programme in France with the first cross-border signature in Europe between the EIF and IFCIC. SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors often find it hard to secure financing, but these new contracts will enable IFCIC to expand its investment and guarantees. It is a landmark agreement for the cultural and creative sectors in France and across the EU.”

IFCIC Director General Florence Philbert added:I would like to thank the EIB Group and welcome the European Commission's ambitious initiative to promote the cultural and creative industries. IFCIC's new offer has also benefited from the support of all of its historic public and private sector partners, headed by the Government, the CNC and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations. IFCIC is happy to be able to implement new tools for all cultural and creative businesses. This reform will ensure that IFCIC's action will drive the development of hundreds of cultural SMEs and micro-enterprises.