• The EIB Group and the European Commission launched the InvestEU programme today in Paris. The programme aims to unlock over €372 billion in investment across the European Union.
  •  The EIB Group’s first operations in France under this initiative include: a €315 million loan to Faurecia for research and development on hydrogen technology and mobility innovations; a€130 million loan to Loxam for the electrification of construction machinery; €276 million in guarantees from the EIF to Bpifrance; and a €30 million EIF investment in an Amundi private debt fund. 

The EIB Group — which includes the European Investment Bank (EIB) and its subsidiary the European Investment Fund (EIF) — and the European Commission organised a morning of presentations at the Pierre Mendès France conference centre of the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance (Bercy) to launch the InvestEU programme in France and highlight its initial investments in the country. With an EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion, this investment support programme aims to mobilise financing of more than €372 billion across Europe by 2027. It will support the European Union's strategic priorities such as the European Green Deal, the digital transition and social and general interest projects in education, health and housing. A minimum of 30% of this financing will go to investments to combat climate change or mitigate its effects.

Around 200 business, finance and investment stakeholders attended this event, which was opened by French Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty Bruno Le Maire and EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. Other public sector financial partners set to invest in France as part of InvestEU projects also took the floor during the morning: Caisse des Dépôts Group CEO Eric Lombard, Bpifrance Executive Director Nicolas Dufourcq and Council of Europe Development Bank Vice-Governor for Financial Strategy Sandrine Gaudin. European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni closed the debate.

French Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty Bruno Le Maire said: “I call on private sector players to apply for InvestEU programme funding to support their investment in France and across Europe. This investment must be in line with our European industrial strategy based on expanded economic independence. InvestEU is among the tools we can use to reaffirm our economic sovereignty. Let’s make the most of it!” 

European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni added: “InvestEU offers a range of financial tools that will be very useful to French companies and I am delighted to be in Paris for this presentation today. A huge quantity of investment will be necessary to successfully transition to a greener and more sustainable growth model and, thanks to InvestEU, we will be able to ensure that funds go where they are most needed.”

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said: “This new EU programme is a key tool for financing risky, high-impact projects helping to make the economy greener, more digital and more inclusive. Our initial operations presented this morning are a good illustration of the full range of InvestEU financing: supporting hydrogen storage research and development efforts, decarbonising the construction and public works sectors by electrifying construction machinery, and financing small businesses with guarantees and investment funding — these are concrete examples of its first contributions in France.”

EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt concluded: “InvestEU provides new financing opportunities to promote innovation, the transition to a more sustainable economy and job creation in France and across Europe. This initiative is perfectly in line with the EIF’s goals to support small businesses in their digital and low-carbon transformation, thereby ensuring that Europe stays competitive.”

The EIB Group’s first InvestEU operations in France

Automotive: €315 million for Faurecia from the EIB

This loan will part-finance research and development activities together with the industrial deployment of hydrogen technology for Faurecia’s mobility applications. It will also finance Faurecia’s research and development on advanced driver assistance systems, with a focus on improving vehicle, driver and pedestrian safety.

In the field of hydrogen storage and distribution, Faurecia produces (350 and 700-bar) homogalated carbon fibre storage tanks aiming to reduce weight and fuel consumption for different vehicle designs. The company has already been awarded major contracts to manufacture hydrogen-powered light commercial vehicles and for a large-scale project involving heavy commercial vehicles aiming to promote hydrogen-powered transport in Switzerland.

Faurecia is also working on hydrogen fuel cell assemblies and production through its subsidiary Symbio, a joint venture with tyre manufacturer Michelin.

This operation contributes to the development of innovative sustainable technologies in key areas for the electrification and decarbonisation of vehicles. It facilitates the development of an ecosystem of hydrogen technology companies in the automotive industry.

Construction and public works: €130 million for Loxam from the EIB

This loan aims to support the energy transition and corporate social responsibility commitments of the French market leader and fourth largest global player in the equipment and tool leasing sector. This EIB green loan financing will enable Loxam to pursue and expand its policy of purchasing electric and low-CO2 equipment to gradually replace its fossil fuel-powered leasing ranges.

Loxam has committed to cutting its direct emissions (produced by its branches and vehicles) by 50% and its indirect emissions (mostly linked to its equipment leasing range) by 30% by 2030. Under its multi-year green investment plan, Loxam is implementing a proactive investment policy based on innovative, low-emission equipment. In 2021, the group allocated €95 million of an overall investment budget of €400 million to achieving this goal.

Guarantees: €276 million for Bpifrance from the EIF

The EIF is providing a €276 million InvestEU guarantee to Bpifrance to support innovative small businesses (SMEs), industry and the creative and cultural sectors. This new cooperation strengthens a long-standing relationship between the EIF and Bpifrance, with several contracts having been signed in recent years under the Juncker Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and the European Guarantee Fund, which was a response to small businesses’ coronavirus pandemic-related financing difficulties. Bpifrance funding granted under this programme will address several aspects of the European Commission policy on innovation and digitalisation, sustainable development and small business competitiveness.

Investment fund: €30 million to Amundi for an SME debt fund

This is the EIF’s first investment in an Amundi-managed pan-European private debt fund with a sustainable strategy. The fund (which exclusively finances small business (SME) debt) explicitly targets investments meeting pre-established key performance indicators linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Background information

About the European Investment Bank

Since 2019, it has been accelerating its transformation into the EU climate bank with a commitment to devote at least 50% of its financing from 2025 to investments that help combat and mitigate the impact of climate change. In 2021, it had already achieved this target in France, directing two-thirds of its €9.2 billion of investment to projects in renewable energy, energy efficiency of buildings and sustainable transport development.

About InvestEU

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It helps to generate additional investments in line with key European priorities, such as the European Green Deal, the digital transition and support for small businesses (SMEs). The InvestEU programme brings together all EU financial tools to support investment by making project financing simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme — building on the success of the Investment Plan for Europe (the Juncker Plan), which led to €500 billion of investment from 2015 to 2021 — is composed of three elements: the InvestEU Fund using the €26.2 billion EU budget guarantee to unlock at least €372 billion in additional investment; the InvestEU Advisory Hub; and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is being implementing via several financial partners led by the EIB, which will distribute 75% of the guarantee. The remaining 25% will be implemented by other international financial institutions and national banking institutions such as Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC) and Bpifrance in France.

About Faurecia

Faurecia SE, headquartered in Nanterre, France, is among the top ten global suppliers of the automotive industry. The company is a leading manufacturer of seating systems and interior components, as well as of carbon emission control systems. Faurecia recently acquired a majority stake in German company HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA, a major manufacturer of lighting systems and electronic components for the automotive industry. The new group will be called Forvia.

About Loxam

Number one in Europe and number four worldwide, Loxam is the market leader for equipment and tool leasing for public works, construction, industry, green spaces and services. With €2.2 billion in turnover in 2021, 1 060 branches and 11 370 employees, Loxam Group is present in 30 countries and has the widest range of equipment on the market, with over 650 000 products to anticipate, support and meet the growing demand of companies that need to outsource the supply, management and maintenance of their fleet.

About Bpifrance

Bpifrance finances businesses — at every stage of their development — by providing credit, guarantees and equity. It supports them with their innovation projects and on international markets. Bpifrance also assists them with their export business via a wide range of products. Advisory and university services, networking and an acceleration programme for start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps are among the other options offered to businesses. Thanks to Bpifrance and its 50 regional branches, businesses benefit from a single, efficient local player to meet their challenges.

About Amundi

European leader in asset manager among the top ten global players, Amundi offers its 100 million customers — individuals, institutions and companies — a complete range of savings and investment solutions in active and passive management, in traditional or real assets. This range comes together with services and technological tools covering the entire savings value chain. A subsidiary of the Crédit Agricole group, Amundi is listed on the stock exchange and currently holds almost €1.9 trillion in assets under management. Its six international management platforms, its financial and extra-financial research capabilities, as well as its long-standing commitment to responsible investment, make it a reference player in the asset management landscape. Amundi customers benefit from the experience and advice of 5 400 professionals in 35 countries.