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European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 08 / 02 / 2016

Brussels, 8 February 2016

Investment Plan for Europe: €19 million for SMEs in Sweden

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Norrlandsfonden have signed a guarantee agreement to increase lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small mid-caps in Sweden. This transaction benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. The agreement will allow Norrlandsfonden to provide SEK 180 million (around €19 million) of new loans to innovative companies in Sweden over the next 2 years. The loan comes under the Horizon 2020 programme's InnovFin initiative. European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “The Investment Plan for Europe is bearing fruit across the EU and I am pleased to see Sweden benefiting from the EFSI. The guarantee agreement signed today between the EIF and Norrlandsfonden will help small Swedish companies get access to the financing they need for their businesses to grow." (For more information see here or contact Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhán Millbright – Tel.: + 32 229 57361)

 

Safer Internet Day: 1 out of 4 internet users in the EU experienced security related problems in 2015

Ahead of the Safer Internet Day tomorrow, data published by Eurostat shows that 25% of internet users in the EU experienced security issues in 2015 such as viruses affecting devices, abuse of personal information or children accessing inappropriate websites. Security concerns kept internet users from doing several online activities: almost 1 in 5 did not shop online or did not carry out banking activities. These figures confirm that trust is essential to create a Digital Single Market. The EU has recently made important steps to reinforce confidence in the online world, with agreements on the first EU-wide cybersecurity rules and on a stronger EU data protection framework. Initiatives such as the Safer Internet Day (9 February) are also key to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people. This year, people in more than 100 countries in the EU and across the world will celebrate the day around the theme of “Play your part for a better internet”. The event is organised by the pan-European network of Safer Internet Centres that are co-funded by the EU. The EU also supports the Better Internet for Kids platform through its Connecting Europe Facility scheme. This tool gives internet users access to a wealth of information, guidance and resources on how to make the best of the internet. The Eurostat press release is available in EN, DE and FR. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Marie Frenay - Tel.: +32 229 64532)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Hunkemöller by the Carlyle Group

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Hunkemöller by the Carlyle Group, both of the Netherlands.  The Carlyle Group manages funds that invest globally across four disciplines (corporate private equity, real assets, global market strategies and solutions). Two of its portfolio companies, Twin-Set Simona Barbieri and Penti, are active as manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of woman's underwear and swimwear. Hunkemöller is a designer and retailer of women’s underwear and swimwear and has stores, including franchise stores, primarily in the European Union and in the Middle East. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because the overlaps between the companies' activities resulting from the proposed transaction are limited. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7892. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Global Vía by USS Nero, OPTrust and PGGM

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Global Vía Infraestructuras, S.A. of Spain by USS Nero Limited of the UK, OPTrust Infrastructure Europe I S.à.r.l. of Luxembourg, a subsidiary of the Canadian pension trust OPSEU, and PGGM N.V. USS of the Netherlands. Global Vía is mainly active in the construction and management of toll motorway and rail infrastructure concessions in Spain. The three acquirers manage pension funds. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because it does not significantly change the market structure. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7851. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioner Arias Cañete visits Helsinki on 9 February

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, will visit Helsinki, Finland, tomorrow on 9 February to discuss energy security, clean energy, EU energy and climate legislation and the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Commissioner Arias Cañete will meet with the Members of the Grand Committee (EU-affairs committee) of the Parliament of Finland. He will also meet with Mr Olli Rehn, Minister of Economic Affairs as well as with Mr Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of Agriculture and Environment. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)


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