OREANDA-NEWS. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed a EUR 25 million financing deal with independent powertrain supplier Punch Powertrain NV of Sint-Truiden, Belgium. The EIB loan will support Punch Powertrain in increasing its R&D activities in the field of automotive transmissions and powertrains, helping the company maintain its competitive edge and to deliver on its growth plan. The operation is supported by ‘InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators Mid-Cap Growth Finance’ facility, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.

Originally founded in 1972 by Dutch car manufacturer DAF, itself a pioneer in continuously variable transmission (CVT) systems, over the years Punch Powertrain has developed expertise in high-tech machining and measuring processes, allowing it to produce customized CVTs based on customers’ specifications. Punch operates state-of-the-art R&D and production facilities in Belgium and has a broad customer base in the Asian automotive market.

“Punch Powertrain is on the forefront of European innovation and a very important player in its field. With Europe lagging behind its main competitors when it comes to innovation, the EIB is more than happy to boost R&D development at such a cutting-edge company. Investing in innovation is key for the accomplishment and success of the Investment Plan for Europe and I hope more companies in Belgium and beyond will make use of the EIB’s financing instruments in that respect” said EIB Vice-President Van Ballekom commenting on the signing of the deal.

“The support of EIB is of great importance to further expand our R&D department in Belgium, creating a knowledge pool, so that our strategy of enlarging our product portfolio, with new and higher-end technologies can be achieved” added, Cor van Otterloo, CEO at Punch Powertrain.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. In Belgium alone, the EIB made available more than EUR 2,1 billion in loans over the course of 2015.

InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance offers long term senior, subordinated loans or mezzanine loans, in order to improve access to finance mainly for innovative larger midcaps (up to 3000 employees), but also SMEs and small midcaps. Loans from EUR 7.5m to EUR 25m will be delivered directly by the EIB.

Punch Powertrain is an independent transmission producer and Tier-1 supplier to the automotive industry. The company develops, designs, manufactures and distributes Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT), a technology that combines high fuel efficiency and shift comfort with a compact, price competitive product. It is the aim of the company to become a global player in the field of automatic transmissions and a supplier of complete powertrains for specific segments of the automotive industry.