Spain: EIB and ICO: first EFSI operation with national promotional bank signed
EIB and ICO launch at European level this form of cooperation between promotional banks under the Investment Plan for Europe.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) have signed a EUR 50 million loan that ICO will use to finance infrastructure projects through its venture capital fund FOND-ICO Infraestructuras. The agreement was signed today in Madrid by EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and ICO Chairwoman, Emma Navarro.
Under this financing operation, which is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the EIB will share with ICO the risk on eligible infrastructure projects in which FOND-ICO Infraestructuras invests, allowing them to benefit from support under the Investment Plan for Europe.
With a target size of EUR 250 million, FOND-ICO Infraestructuras invests in infrastructure projects in the EU through minority equity participations, subordinated debt and participating loans. Its priority sectors are transport, energy and environmental and social facilities. Investments ranging from EUR 5 million to EUR 40 million per project are envisaged.
In the words of Román Escolano "Underlining the excellent collaboration between ICO and EIB, the Bank's participation in this fund is a milestone as it is our first operation with a national promotional bank under the Investment Plan for Europe. The operation will contribute to accelerating investments in infrastructure in Spain and other European Union countries".
Emma Navarro said that "the EIB and ICO are joining forces in this innovative financing model, which will enable Spanish firms to make infrastructure and energy investments by supporting the capitalisation of projects. The operation is a sign of ICO firm commitment to the Investment Plan for Europe, and will help to turn our venture capital for infrastructure fund into a major co-investment instrument under the plan in our country."
European Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete added that: "Today's EFSI-supported agreement between the EIB and ICO will stimulate infrastructure investment in Spain. I am pleased that the fund is prioritising investments in strategic sectors for Europe such as the energy transition, transport and social amenities -which are key to growth and jobs".
Today's agreement builds on the existing cooperation with ICO under the Investment Plan for Europe, which is designed to boost the PPP market in Spain and other EU countries by catalysing private investment.
The Investment Plan for Europe is an EU initiative aimed at promoting investment and fostering long-term growth. Its goal is to leverage at least EUR 315 billion worth of investment over three years.
Spain is contributing EUR 1.5 billion to the Investment Plan for Europe via ICO. Announced in February 2015, this contribution is designed to cofinance projects in which Spain has an interest under the plan. ICO will also bring its technical expertise and local knowledge to the schemes implemented.