The RRF Bulgaria Equity is a €180 million mandate financed by the Bulgarian Recovery and Resilience Facility. The Republic of Bulgaria has entrusted the European Investment Fund (EIF) with this mandate to provide equity financing for growth, innovation and investments in climate neutrality and digital transformation to the Bulgarian undertakings that have been most affected by the long-lasting negative economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

The EIF-managed fund of funds will invest in country-focused or regional funds and facilities that will, in turn, support technology transfer projects, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps to foster innovation and help the transition to the knowledge economy. They may also finance equity investments (such as infrastructure projects) supporting climate neutrality and digital transformation.

Equity instruments currently envisaged include investments in growth, innovation and infrastructure projects for climate neutrality and digital transformation.

Alexander Poulev, Minister of Innovation and Growth of the Republic of Bulgaria, said: “By signing this agreement, we are giving the green light to €180 million to be invested in Bulgarian enterprises. Beyond the figures, we are delegating great responsibility to our long-term partner, the EIF, to support Bulgarian businesses in striving for development and innovative solutions, increasing their competitiveness, reaching new markets and, last but not least, increasing their energy efficiency and climate neutrality. A considerable benefit of the current equity finance is also the broad scope of coverage of companies in their different stages of development and of economic sectors.”

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova said: “The EIB and EIF have a long and fruitful collaboration with the Bulgarian government. The close cooperation has enabled new financing initiatives to be developed that will ensure that business financing across Bulgaria benefits from the unprecedented recovery scheme. We are committed to supporting economic recovery from the pandemic and the green transition across Europe by maximising the impact of new investment backed by the Recovery and Resilience Facility.”

“We are excited to be signing this new equity mandate entrusted to the EIF by Bulgaria, financed by the country’s Recovery and Resilience Facility resources. This new agreement builds on our strong cooperation that has already contributed most notably to the development of a vibrant, flourishing venture capital and private equity ecosystem in Bulgaria. Through this new initiative, we look forward to contributing to Bulgaria’s Recovery and Resilience Plan policy priorities, including the further development of the venture capital and private equity market by extending fresh support to innovative ideas and startups, helping them to develop pioneering technologies and products, and realise their growth potential,” added EIF Director and Head of Mandate Management Hubert Cottogni.

Bulgaria is expected to receive almost €6.27 billion in grants and loans from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility. The reforms and investments in the plan will help Bulgaria become more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions. The implementation of the plan will foster economic growth and create jobs.

The approved Recovery and Resilience Plan for Bulgaria contains about €330 million in funds to be managed by the European Investment Fund to implement guarantee products through the Member State compartment of InvestEU and equity instruments under the Smart Industry component of the Recovery and Resilience Plan.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is a specialist provider of risk finance to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe. It is part of the EIB Group. Its shareholders are the EIB, the European Union (represented by the European Commission) and a wide range of public and private banks and financial institutions.