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Brussels, 5 February 2009

State aid: Commission approves German real economy crisis measure

The European Commission has approved, under EC Treaty state aid rules, a German Risk-Capital Regulation temporarily adapting certain existing risk-capital schemes to the Commission's Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis (see IP/08/1993). Thus, the measure will allow for more flexible risk-capital investments until 2010.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "The current crisis requires immediate responses. That's why I am glad that Germany has quickly taken advantage of the new Temporary Framework. The Commission has done its part, by assessing the measure swiftly."

In particular, the measure, named Bundesrahmenregelung Risikokapital will allow until 2010 8 risk-capital investment schemes, implemented by German Länder, to increase the maximum investment tranches from €1.5 million to €2.5 million over each 12-months period. The minimum private participation for risk capital investments is temporarily reduced from 50% to 30%.

The risk-capital investment schemes concerned are aimed at facilitating the access to risk capital for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that are in their early stages of development.

The schemes that are covered by Bundesrahmenregelung Risikokapital and are approved under this decision are:

  • Berlin Kapital Fonds, Berlin
  • Richtlinie des Landes Niedersachsen für Garantien zur Beteiligung an kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen der gewerblichen Wirtschaft, Lower Saxony
  • Sächsischer Frühphasenfonds (Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen), Saxony
  • IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH, Saxony-Anhalt

The Commission's approval of four other schemes is still pending. These schemes will be incorporated into the measure only after the Commission has decided that they are compatible with the normal Community rules on State aid for risk-capital. These schemes are:

  • Clusterfonds Innovation, Bavaria
  • Risikokapitalfonds Brandenburg (BFB II), Brandenburg
  • Hannover Beteiligungsfonds, Lower Saxony
  • EFRE-Risikokapitalfonds Thüringen, Thuringia

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number N39/2009 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.

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