Prepared by Cristian Sgaramella, Michele Giuliani and Carolina Notario
On September 3, 2021, the General Director for Business Incentives before the Ministry of Economic Development (“MED“) published the decree (the “Decree“) setting out terms and conditions for submitting applications for access to the fund to support large companies in temporary financial difficulties (the “Fund“).
For the Fund, established by Article 37 of Decree-Law no. 41/2021 (Support Decree 1), governed by the Interministerial Decree of 5 July 2021 and, most recently, authorised by the European Commission on 16 August 2021, EUR 400 million has been allocated.
Such a financial contribution is one among the urgent measures adopted by the Government to support businesses and economic operators in light of the economic crisis related to the epidemic emergency, which also includes the fund for the protection of employment levels and the prosecution of business activities, adopted by Decree Law No. 34/2020 (Relaunch Decree), the subject of the newsalert of 18 February 2021.
The overall management is delegated to the Agenzia nazionale per l’attrazione degli investimenti e lo sviluppo d’impresa S.p.A. – Invitalia (“Invitalia“).
Only large companies (as defined by the European Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003), operating in the national territory and in any economic sector, including those under extraordinary administration procedure, which at the date of submission of the application are in the following conditions, can benefit from the Fund:
- they are in temporary financial difficulties as a result of the economic crisis due to the epidemiological emergency;
- have prospects for restructuring their activities;
- they are duly constituted and registered in the Companies’ Register;
- they have their registered office or operational headquarters located on national territory;
- must not be among the companies that have received and subsequently not reimbursed or deposited in a blocked account the aid identified as illegal or incompatible by the European Commission;
- they must have repaid benefits for which the MED has issued a recovery order.
In order to benefit from the Fund, companies are considered to be in a state of temporary difficulty (i) when they have prospective cash flows that are inadequate to meet their planned obligations on a regular basis, or (ii) when such difficulty falls within the definition in Regulation (EU) No 651/2014.
Please, refer to Article 5, paragraph IV of the Decree for an indication of the excluded companies.
The contribution will be granted in the form of a subsidised financing through the conclusion of a contract between the beneficiary company and Invitalia, with a maximum duration of five years.
The amount allocated, in any case not more than EUR 30 million, may not be higher than, alternatively:
- twice the beneficiary company’s annual payroll expenditure for 2019 or the last available financial year;
- 25% of the total turnover of the beneficiary company in 2019.
The maximum amount may be increased if the Region concerned or another public administration/entity is also involved in the business support project.
To access the Fund, the proposing company has to send a specific application to Invitalia starting at 12:00 am on 20 September and, in any case, no later than 11:59 am on 2 November 2021, by filling out the application electronically using the computerised procedure accessible on the website www.invitalia.it.
The necessary forms are already available into the dedicated platform.
The application has to include a realistic/credible business plan aimed at relaunching the company, certified by a professional satisfying the requirements for being enrolled into the Albo (as provided for in Article 356 of the Code for Business Crisis and Insolvency).
Invitalia will carry out the processing of applications in chronological order of submission, which has to be completed within 60 days at the latest.
Companies will be granted assistance within the limits of the Fund’s availability, the exhaustion of which will be promptly communicated by MED.
For a deeper discussion, please contact:
PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti
PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti