EU backs €200m SME scheme in Poland

The initiative will see Polish private debt manager CVI purchase bonds from around 60 SMEs and small mid-cap firms.

The European Investment Fund and Polish debt manager CVI have signed a guarantee agreement supporting a €200 million scheme to purchase new bonds from up to 60 innovative Polish SMEs and small mid-cap firms.

CVI and the Open Finance Corporate Bonds Fund – a closed-ended fund managed by CVI and Noble Funds TFI (part of Polish bank Getin Noble) – will be able to offer a lower cost of financing to investee companies due to the guarantee.

The agreement was signed under the Innovfin – EU Finance for Innovators scheme which is backed by EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. It is supported by the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe (also known as the Juncker Plan).

“Using the EU budget guarantee to support this, and therefore provide easier access to financing to more businesses, is precisely the aim of the Juncker Plan,” said Elzbieta Bienkowska, a European Commissioner responsible for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs.

“Thanks to the risk sharing transaction we have signed, CVI will be able to provide preferential private debt financing to Polish innovative SMEs,” added Rafal Lis, managing partner at CVI.

CVI, which is based in Warsaw, provides non-bank financing to SMEs and mid-caps in Poland and the CEE region. Founded in 2012, it has total assets under management of €1.4 billion.

The Juncker Plan was launched in order to boost investment in Europe following the global financial crisis and its approved projects and agreements so far are expected to mobilise more than €287 billion in total investment across 28 countries. Originally scheduled to finish this year, a vote at the end of last year extended the scheme to the end of 2020.