France gains Commission's approval for €3bn scheme to help virus-hit companies
Up to 100 enterprises are expected to benefit from the measureEuropost
The European Commission on Tuesday approved, under EU State aid rules, French plans to set up a €3 billion fund that will invest through debt, hybrid and equity instruments in companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak, EC Press service reported. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. It includes subordinated and participating loans and recapitalisation measures, in particular hybrid capital instruments and preferred shares without voting rights. Up to 100 companies are expected to benefit from the measure.
„We continue working in close cooperation with Member States to find workable solutions to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU rules,” Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said.
The Temporary Framework enables Member States to combine all support measures with each other, except for loans and guarantees for the same loan and exceeding the thresholds foreseen by the Temporary Framework. It also enables Member States to combine all support measures granted under the Temporary Framework with existing possibilities to grant de minimis to a company of up to €25,000 over three fiscal years for companies active in the primary agricultural sector, €30,000 over three fiscal years for companies active in the fishery and aquaculture sector and €200,000 over three fiscal years for companies active in all other sectors. At the same time, Member States have to commit to avoid undue cumulation of support measures for the same companies to limit support to meet their actual needs.Furthermore, the Temporary Framework complements the many other possibilities already available to Member States to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU State aid rules.
The Temporary Framework will be in place until the end of December 2021. With a view to ensuring legal certainty, the Commission will assess before this date if it needs to be extended.