The EIF guarantees €30 million in loans to French creative industries
by Thierry Leclercq
- The European Investment Fund has signed a new guarantee contract with Bpifrance for the implementation of a programme of loans for the creative industries
It is the second partnership forged under the Creative Europe programme guarantee mechanism, following on from the first which was announced in Spain on 23 January (see news article). The EIF’s guarantee will allow Bpifrance, a branch of French public sector financial institution the Caisse des Dépôts et de l’Etat, to fund 200 companies over the next two years with an extra €30 million at its disposal for meeting the needs of companies in the creative sector.
This “Loans for Creative Industries” programme should be launched between now and June 2017 through the 47 regional offices of Bpifrance, and will be based on a partnership with the IFCIC (Institute for the Funding of Film and Cultural Industries), whose expertise in the field is widely acknowledged (it was the operator of the MEDIA guarantee fund for production between 2010 and 2013).
Aimed at SMEs up and running for at least three years, Bpifrance’s loans will have very specific characteristics: non-guaranteed loans will be issued to companies or their CEOs and funding will range from €50,000 to €400,000 per year, with a maximum amount equalling the capital stock of the company in question, for a period of seven years, with two years of deferred amortisation, and 50% obligatory co-funding from banks, raised through capital stock or crowdfunding.
"The European initiative for creative industries gives greater opportunities to French SMEs operating in the sector, states director general Nicolas Dufourcq. The EIF guarantee is an opportunity to better fund companies in these market segments together with our partners, most notably the IFCIC, and will of course boost the actions taken by Bpifrance for the French Touch" with its own funds.
The cultural and creative sector is worth €104 billion, brings together 500,000 companies, and represents 1.7 million jobs, according to Bpifrance’s estimations. In 2015, using various guarantee, funding and capital stock measures, Bpifrance assisted 8000 companies in the sector with a total of €1.3 billion, €540 million of which went into fashion and luxury.
On 23 January, the EIF signed a similar guarantee agreement with the CERSA (Compañía Española de Reafianzamiento) in Spain, which will cover loans to SMEs up to a limit of €150 million. Launched last June by the EIF, the Creative Europe guarantee mechanism has a budget of €121 million and should be able to guarantee up to €600 million in loans.
(Translated from French)