EIB and illimity in €200m Italy SME investment

EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and illimity Bank S.p.A. have concluded an agreement worth €200 million aimed at supporting the working capital and liquidity needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Italy.

The EIB said the investments will be made with specific emphasis being given to sustainable investments and businesses operating in “cohesion regions” of Italy.

The agreement, which consolidates existing cooperation between the two banks, will lead to each mobilising funds of €100 million during 2023, ensuring SMEs’ access to credit on favourable terms.

This is the second agreement reached between the EIB Group and illimity following that concluded in 2021 which enabled funding of over €1 billion to be provided for the liquidity needs of Italian SMEs.

“illimity will provide funding of €100 million to these businesses through b-ilty, the illimity Group’s digital bank specialising in providing financial services and credit to companies with a turnover of between €2 million and €15 million,” said the EIB.

“A fully digital platform and flexible structure means b-ilty has no territorial restrictions and is therefore able to provide the best possible support to the various types of business found across Italy.

“More specifically, the agreement requires at least 30% of the funds to be used to finance businesses operating in cohesion regions (Molise, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia, Abruzzo, Umbria and Marche), in line with the European Union’s cross-cutting objective of economic, social and territorial development.

“In addition, at least 20% of the new funds must support investments made by Italian companies in the energy transition.

“Specific emphasis will be given to supporting projects that are consistent with the European Union’s priority objectives for achieving environmental sustainability through the development of renewable energy (solar photovoltaic), energy efficiency, sustainable mobility (electric vehicles and charging infrastructure) and projects for sustainable water and waste management.”

EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti said: “The aim of this operation with illimity is to foster two of the EIB’s cross-cutting objectives, namely climate and social cohesion, by providing new funding at favourable terms for small and medium-sized businesses wishing to invest in a more sustainable and inclusive future.”

illimity CEO and founder Corrado Passera said: “illimity was conceived with the ambition of enhancing and supporting entrepreneurship in Italy.

“Our commitment, working alongside businesses, is further confirmed by this agreement which enables new funding to be provided to SMEs in the highly complex period we are currently experiencing.

“Working with the EIB once again allows us to provide even greater support to businesses with potential intending to boost their growth, in this way contributing to a positive economic, social and environmental change in their local area.”