The European Investment Fund has in principle approved the Fund LitCapital I as the second new risk capital fund dedicated to investing into Lithuanian SMEs in the framework of JEREMIE.
This fund, which have a target size of approximately €25m, will provide start-up and expansion financing for micro, small and medium size companies with growth potential located in the country. It will aim to take equity stakes between €0.3-3m to build a diversified portfolio of 12 SMEs.
According to a EIB’s statement, Vilnius, Lithuania-based LitCapitalAsset Management is in the process of being established as a management company for the Fund.
The finalisation of the funds’ set-up is subject to final legal due diligence and the successful raising of private funds by the fund managers by the end of 2009 or early 2010.
The EIF has already selected UAB BaltCap Management to manage a new risk capital fund of €20m and UAB Strata and Mes Invest to manage an €8m Business Angels Co-investment Fund.
JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) is the initiative launched by the European Commission and the EIB Group to improve access to finance for SMEs in the EU within the Structural Funds framework for the period 2007 – 2013.
The innovative initiative enables the EU Member States and Regions to put money from the structural funds and also national resources into holding funds that can finance SMEs. Since the products will be provided on a repayment basis, funding will be reinvested and hence more SMEs will benefit from the EU resources.
In Lithuania, JEREMIE Holding Fund is financed from the EU Structural Funds under 2007-2013 Economic Growth Operational Programme.