Bloomberg News

EU Seeks to Boost Venture-Capital Funding for Small Businesses

December 07, 2011

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union proposed allowing venture-capital funds to operate across the 27-nation region under a single set of rules if they meet EU standards on lending to small businesses.

“By introducing a single rulebook, venture-capital funds will have the potential to attract more capital commitments and become bigger,” the Brussels-based European Commission said in an e-mailed statement. Bigger funds “mean more capital for individual companies,” it said today.

Funds will be allowed to operate across the EU if they invest at least 70 percent of their capital into small businesses that are closely held, the commission said. Funds’ investments would need to take the form of either an ownership stake in the companies or providing them with loss absorbing debt, it said.

The measures need to be approved by EU governments and lawmakers in the European Parliament before they can enter into force.

--Editors: Peter Chapman, Jones Hayden

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Brunsden in Brussels at jbrunsden@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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