A £200 million equity fund for Scottish businesses has been unveiled as part of the Holyrood government’s support for growth companies.
The Scottish-European Growth Co-investment Programme is the first tranche of money released under the £500m Scottish Growth Scheme launched last September.
Scottish Enterprise, through the Scottish Investment Bank, is making £50m available, matched by £50m from the European Investment Fund. The EIF will then seek an additional £100m from accredited private fund managers.
The government says it will release details of new funding packages later this year relating to the remaining £300m.
Companies looking to access the programme should in the first instance approach the Scottish Investment Bank for advice and support.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “The Scottish Growth Scheme will be a half-billion pound boost to support businesses and jobs at a time when the UK Government stance on Brexit continues to present a huge threat to jobs and prosperity in Scotland.
“This new multi-million pound programme, the first under the Scottish Growth Scheme, is specifically designed for companies seeking large equity investment to support their growth plans. The new programme will open up a new pool of potential investors from across Europe.
“We want our businesses to be able to expand and create more job opportunities and the new programme will provide considerable investment.”
Kerry Sharp, director of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “Today’s announcement is great news for Scottish companies with ambition for scale. This new programme will allow us to engage with even more international investors and attract larger amounts of investment into Scottish companies.”
EIF chief executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “I am delighted to be announcing this new agreement for Scottish businesses. The Scottish-European Growth Co-investment Programme is a joint Scottish Enterprise and EIF initiative supporting Scottish SMEs and attracting international private equity investment to Scotland.
“Via co-investment funding and equity investment funds supported by EIF, businesses will be able to access GBP 100 million of new finance, helping to create jobs and growth in Scotland.”
Mr Mackay made the announcement on a visit to CelluComp, an industrial technology company that has developed a material called Curran, a cellulose non-fibre extracted from root vegetables which is used as an additive in a number of markets including paints and coatings.
CEO Christian Kemp-Griffin said: “We are very pleased to be hosting the announcement for the new Co-investment Programme between the European Investment Fund and Scottish Enterprise in our facilities at Glenrothes.
“Our company has been able to grow to this point with the assistance of support mechanisms such as a European Eco Innovation grant (EcoADD) as well as various Scottish Enterprise grants and investments.
“We recognise that in order to take new and innovative products to market requires adequate financial commitments and support.
“It is precisely these strong initiatives between European and Scottish-based funds, along with the private sector, that will allow companies such as ours to prosper in the future.”