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Kennet Equipment Leasing Limited (“Kennet”), one of the leading independent equipment finance providers to small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) and part of STAR Asset Finance, has signed a £50m committed financing facility to provide financing to UK SMEs. The innovative financing facility is provided by Commerzbank backed by a guarantee from the European Investment Fund (“EIF”). The facility will enable Kennet and the STAR Asset Finance Group to further extend financing to existing and new customers and provide a vital source of financing to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK.

Commenting on the announcement, Steve Swift, Managing Director of Kennet,
said: “For 25 years Kennet has been arranging financing for small and medium-sized companies. Today’s development marks another significant step in the development of Kennet as this facility provides us with the ability to significantly expand our lending activities to existing and new SME customers. We appreciate the trust that Commerzbank and EIF have put in Kennet and are looking forward to continue serving the UK community of small and medium-sized businesses.”

Neil Aiken, Head of Structured Capital Markets, Commerzbank Corporates &
Markets
, said: “Commerzbank has a strong track record in financing SMEs and
creating innovative financing facilities that enable companies to grow. The facility that we were able to structure for Kennet in partnership with EIF meets both objectives. It allows us to support a growing company, while at the same time provide much needed financing to UK SMEs, one of the key drivers of the UK economy.

George Passaris, Head of Securitisation of EIF, said: “EIF is the leading developer
of risk financing for entrepreneurship and innovation across the EU with a strong focus on helping and supporting SMEs through their development stages. We are very pleased to have provided a guarantee and participated in the structuring of this highly innovative facility for Kennet which has a strong catalytic effect towards additional financing for UK SMEs.”

More information on the European Investment Fund can be found at www.eif.org 

Information on Commerzbank can be found at www.commerzbank.com

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