26 October 2023

HBOR EIF and HBOR launch new equity investment programme in Croatia

- European Investment Fund and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development are launching a €52 million investment programme aimed at fast growing Croatian businesses.

- The deal, which sees both sides committing €26 million, is aimed at SMEs, small Mid-Caps and Mid-Caps established and operating in Croatia.

- The programme is expected to boost the emergence of fund managers in the local private equity market, thus promoting a more sustainable and resilient economy in Croatia.

The European Investment Fund and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) have announced a €52 million deal to launch an investment programme in support of fast-growing SMEs, small Mid-Caps and Mid-Caps established and operating in Croatia. HBOR’s commitment is financed through the Recovery and Resilience Facility within Next generation EU* in accordance with the National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021-2026 (“NRRP”).

EIF and HBOR will each commit €26 million to finance this jointly developed programme and the combined commitments of €52 million are expected to catalyse additional private-sector investments into equity funds. A key programme objective is to support the emergence of fund managers, which focus a significant part of their investments into Croatian SMEs, small Mid-Caps and Mid-Caps.

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with HBOR – an EIF shareholder - to launch this new equity investment programme in Croatia, providing funding support to fast-growing Croatian businesses. I am particularly pleased about the programme's focus on SDGs, which will help to promote a more sustainable and resilient Croatian economy.” commented EIB Group Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska.

EIF and HBOR will jointly manage and deploy the programme through fund investments in target companies. The programme is not restricted to any particular sector, although focus will be on sustainability, green transformation and innovation. At least 25% of the total amount drawn down for investments shall be invested in eligible beneficiaries classified as contributing to the EIF's criteria for Climate Action and Environmental Sustainability (CA&ES). The investment programme will also seek to support emerging teams established in Croatia and specifically focused on the country through a Call for Expression of Interest with the objective to select such fund managers. The Call will be published by the end of September on the EIF’s and HBOR’s websites.

Hrvoje Čuvalo, President of HBOR’s Management Board, added: “This agreement represents the continuation of HBOR's support in developing private equity market in the Republic of Croatia. Through this programme, investments in SMEs, small Mid-Caps and Mid-Caps will be further strengthened, while, at the same time, a shift will be made towards sustainability, green transformation and innovation.”

Background information

The European Investment Fund is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its main goal is to support microenterprises and small businesses by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF contributes to the pursuit of key EU policy objectives such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability.

HBOR is the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Croatia's national development bank. Its task is the promotion of the development of the Croatian economy by extending loans, insuring export transactions against political and commercial risks, issuing guarantees, investing into equity through the private equity funds and providing business advice.

*Funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them

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