EIB, Alba in €1bn financing for Italy’s smaller firms

€1 billion in new financial resources will be made available to Italy’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps thanks to an agreement between the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group and Alba Leasing.

About 8,000 Italian businesses are expected to benefit.

Alba Leasing is a leasing finance specialist owned by Banco BPM S.p.A. (39.19%), BPER Banca S.p.A. (33.50%), Banca Popolare di Sondrio S.c.p.a. (19.26%) and Credito Valtellinese S.p.A. (8.05%).

The EIB and its subsidiary the European Investment Fund (EIF) have provided the corporate leasing specialist with €490 million via a securitisation financing operation.

Alba Leasing has undertaken to double this, increasing the total amount available to almost €1 billion (€980 million) for projects across all economic sectors, with a particular focus on environmental investments — for which 20% of the resources have been reserved.

“In concrete terms, the securitisation operation concerns a portfolio of performing loans held by Alba Leasing, for which the EIB Group has subscribed senior and mezzanine securities totalling €490 million (EIB €440 million, EIF €50 million),” said the EIB.

“At least two-thirds of the total will go to financial leasing investments by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (fewer than 250 employees), while a third will go to mid-caps (up to 3 000 employees).

“Around 10% of the operation (€50 million) will be covered by the Investment Plan for Europe guarantee.

“The final amount available will make it possible to finance up to 100% of new investments and projects, with a maximum of €12.5 million for each leasing operation.

“Projects may include the purchase of plant, equipment, motor vehicles, machinery, existing or new buildings, cars and other vehicles for professional purposes.”

European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “The European Union continues to work hand in hand with the private sector to provide new financing opportunities for Italian SMEs and mid-caps.

“Thanks to the European Fund for Strategic Investments and the EIB, 8,000 SMEs and mid-caps across Italy will receive support for their investment projects to help them recover from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and to make a success of the green transition.”