Investment Plan for Europe: EUR 50m for ČEZ’s Inven Capital to support growth of innovative smart energy and clean-tech companies

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing EUR 50m to the Czech Republic Inven Capital Fund to develop a co-investment initiative to support the growth of clean energy and smart technology SMEs and midcaps. Czech energy utility ČEZ is contributing the same amount to this initiative so that the total financing available for joint co-investments to clean-tech and smart energy businesses is EUR 100m. The transaction is backed by the guarantee of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

This operation will support clean-tech and smart energy companies’ investment projects, the mobilisation and deployment of further private sector investments to enhance innovation and sustainable development and generate employment opportunities in Europe. This co-investment initiative will provide additional liquidity to leading European venture capital-dependent SMEs and midcaps in the energy sector. These companies are typically in a growth stage and need early-stage investments to innovate and expand their product and service offering, increase their productivity and manufacturing capacity and expand internationally.

EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák commented: “I am glad that this unique EUR 100m joint co-investment initiative benefitting from the EFSI guarantee will enable Inven Capital to accelerate its equity investments. This will help to strengthen the capital base and growth of leading highly innovative European clean energy and smart-tech businesses.”

European Commission Vice-President responsible for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: “Once again we see that EFSI means business. It means business for innovative clean-tech and smart energy companies in the Czech Republic and across Europe. It means another EUR 100m are now being injected into their growth and our environment. It means we’re moving in the right direction. Under EFSI 2.0, at least 40% of the projects will contribute directly to climate action, in line with our Paris Agreement commitments."

Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Renewable Energy and Distribution Officer of ČEZ Tomáš Pleskač stated: “Inven Capital’s activities have so far greatly helped ČEZ Group to fulfil one of its main strategic objectives, which is to develop business in the decentralised energy and renewable sources segments. We feel very honoured by the European Investment Bank’s interest in investing jointly in energy start-ups, and it is a sign of appreciation of our efforts to date.”

Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Inven Capital Petr Míkovec said: “Our partnership with the EIB will allow us to access additional capital and as a result provide greater support for further growth of innovative clean-tech SMEs and midcaps in Europe. This additional funding from the EIB along with the capital originally committed by ČEZ means that Inven Capital Fund will have approximately up to EUR 240m of committed capital available.”

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union's bank. It is the long-term lending institution of the EU and is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investments in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The EIB works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy.

As the world’s largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, the EIB provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of EIB activity is focused on Europe but it also supports the EU's external and development policies.

The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan, is one of the European Commission's top priorities. It focuses on boosting investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The EFSI is already showing concrete results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise some EUR 252bn in investments and support up to 528 000 SMEs across all 28 Member States. On 13 September, the European Parliament and Member States came to an agreement in principle on the extension and strengthening of EFSI. This agreement extends EFSI's duration as well as increasing its financial capacity.

Recent EFSI data by sector and by country are available here. For more info, please see the FAQs.

INVEN CAPITAL is a venture capital fund of the ČEZ Group. The strategy of INVEN CAPITAL is to identify opportunities for investing in innovative and growing smart energy companies in Europe. It focuses primarily on growth investment opportunities in the later stage with a business model proven by realised earnings and with long-term growth potential. Companies in the portfolio of INVEN CAPITAL can take advantage of ČEZ Group’s extensive expert knowledge, client base, and technology synergies for their further development. The portfolio of INVEN CAPITAL includes some of the most innovative clean-tech companies, such as Sonnen, Sunfire, Tado and Cloud & Heat. The fund is an ordinary member of Invest Europe (https://www.investeurope.eu– European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association) and CVCA (http://www.cvca.cz) – Czech Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

Press contacts:

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Website: www.eib.org/press - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press {zavináč} eib {tečka} org
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ČEZ:

Martin Schreier,martin.schreier {zavináč} cez {tečka} cz  tel: +420 211 042 612, +420 725 765 848

ČEZ, a. s., Duhová 2/1444, 140 53 Praha 4

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Published
15
December 2017