InvestEU: EIF and Merkur join forces to mobilise up to DKK 160 million in new lending to foster sustainability

Business, Finances

Merkur Andelskasse and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have signed a guarantee agreement under the new InvestEU programme, which will make up to DKK 160 million (€21.5 million) available in new financing in the form of leasing contracts and loans for Danish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

With the backing of the InvestEU programme, Merkur will provide eligible debt financing to SMEs and small mid-caps at more affordable terms, fostering sustainability and social responsibility projects. Merkur is a long-standing partner of the EIF and operates countrywide, also supporting regions and rural areas where finance is not always easily accessible.

EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt said:

“We are very happy to renew our partnership with Merkur, this time under the InvestEU programme. This agreement is designed to channel financing to Danish businesses — including in rural areas — to help those that are pursuing a green and sustainable transition. We are confident that this collaboration can provide the financial support needed to enable these businesses to take major steps forward in the green transition.”

Charlotte Skovgaard, chief executive officer of Merkur Cooperative Bank, added:

“The InvestEU guarantee is crucial in our efforts to speed up the sustainable transition. At Merkur we are equally happy and proud that this agreement will increase the amount that we can channel to small and medium businesses working for sustainable progress within our core business fields of environmental, climate, nature and social sustainability. This will reinforce our sustainable efforts and enable even more Danish SMEs, including those in rural areas, to get their visionary projects financed.”

European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said:

“InvestEU is playing an important role in helping businesses gain access to finance and accelerating the green transition. I am delighted that, with this agreement, InvestEU is helping businesses in Denmark unlock the funds they need while improving their sustainability and making important social contributions to their communities.” 

The European Investment Fund is part of the European Investment BankGroup. Its central mission is to support Europe’s SMEs by helping them 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 furthers key EU policy objectives like competitiveness and growth, innovation and digitalisation, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability, and more.

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable economy. It helps generate additional investments in line with EU policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal, the digital transition and support for SMEs. InvestEU brings all EU financial instruments together under one roof, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme has three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners who invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. This guarantee increases their risk-bearing capacity, mobilising upwards of €372 billion in additional investment.

Merkur Cooperative Bank is Denmark’s largest values-based bank, combining classical banking with a vision of a sustainable society. Merkur Cooperative Bank has been at the forefront of sustainable development and social responsibility in the Danish banking sector since 1982. Merkur provides financial advice and financing to both individual and business customers. On the business side, Merkur finances profit-making enterprises within sustainable production, and not-for-profit institutions and associations within cultural and social fields, having the strictest screening of customer sustainability in the Danish financial sector.