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State Aid

State Aid: New Norwegian seed capital scheme approved

13.3.2013

PR(13)20

Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority decided not to raise objections to a new Norwegian national seed capital scheme.

The primary objective of the scheme is to increase the supply of seed capital to small and medium-sized enterprises in Norway.

“Today's decision paves the way for a new Norwegian seed capital scheme to promote innovative businesses and create tomorrow's jobs and growth,” Ms Oda Helen Sletnes, the President of the Authority, said.

Under the scheme, the Norwegian State will co-operate with investors acting on a commercial basis to create up to six funds with an investment volume of a maximum of NOK 500 million each.

The State will contribute up to 50% of funds' capital, with a maximum total participation of NOK 1.5 billion (about EUR 205 million).

In order to attract investor interest, 15% of the State's capital contribution will be allocated to the commercial co-investors, increasing their shareholding in the funds and resulting in a total grant of aid of up to NOK 225 million (about EUR 31 million) to them.

The seed capital funds will be managed by professional fund managers chosen by way of an open, transparent and non-discriminatory tender procedure.

The Authority was required to conduct a detailed assessment of the scheme under its State Aid Guidelines on State Aid to promote Risk Capital Investments in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

After analysing the positive and negative effects of the aid, the Authority concluded that the scheme fulfilled the overall balancing test under the State Aid Guidelines.

A public version of today's decision will be published on the Authority's website, normally within a month.

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187




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