Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the British Business Bank in relation to the structuring of its Help to Grow scheme.
The Help to Grow scheme was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in February 2015 and forms part of £1bn worth of commitments to support small businesses in accessing finance needed for growth that was announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the Budget 2016.
The initial phase of the Help to Grow scheme is expected to provide approximately £200 million in new lending for small businesses in its first two years. As part of the Help to Grow scheme, the British Business Bank will guarantee loans of up to £2 million made by banks to small businesses to support the development of new products and processes, stimulate research and innovation and help businesses target new export markets. This is supported by the European Investment Fund which covers a portion of the guarantee provided by British Business Finance Limited through an InnovFin counter-guarantee agreement.
On 22 May 2016, the first transaction under the Help to Grow scheme was launched between British Business Finance Limited and Lloyds Banking Group.
Sandrine Sauvel, partner, comments:
“This is an exciting transaction and we are delighted to be able to assist the British Business Bank on this scheme which will see many small and innovative companies receive access to funding to further their businesses.
“This transaction epitomizes our involvement in the financing and support of SMEs both in the UK and in Europe. We have been involved in structures ranging from securitisations, asset based lending, warehousing platforms and debt funds focused on SMEs. Another recent highlight for our practice in this sector is the securitisation by Bibby Financial Services of its portfolio of factoring and invoice discounting receivables.”
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by Sandrine Sauvel, assisted by Isabelle Fox and Merel Klinkers. The team advised on the portfolio guarantee entered into by British Business Finance Limited and Lloyds Banking Group and negotiated the terms of the counter-guarantee with the European Investment Fund.
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