Go-arrangements (Garantie Ondernemersfinanciering-regeling)
Update 30 April 2020 - The Dutch government published emergency measures to support Dutch businesses dealing with the effects of COVID-19. In light of these measures the Dutch government has increased its scheme of guarantee to banks and insurers (hereinafter: banks) who are granting new credit lines to small and-medium sized and large companies.
These arrangement are commonly referred to as go-arrangements (Garantie Ondernemersfinanciering-regeling) or in relation to a specific credit, a go-facility. The original Go-arrangements (implemented by the Dutch government in 2009) (Go) and COVID-19 go-arrangements (Go-C) shall coexist. In this article we focus on Go-C. The total guarantee limit of Go and Go-C combined has been increased from EUR 400 million to EUR 10 billion. The maximum guaranteed amount per company under Go-C is EUR 150 million, compared to EUR 50 million under Go (both with a minimal amount of EUR 1.5 million per company). The guaranteed percentage by the Dutch State of the credit lines under Go-C is 80 per cent. for large businesses and to 90 per cent. for small and medium sized-enterprises (SMEs), compared to 50 per cent. under Go.
Conditions and provisions of the temporary company financing guarantee scheme
Who can apply for Go-C?
The go-arrangements are designed for SMEs and large companies which:
- are Dutch and have substantial activities in the Netherlands;
- are in essence financially healthy (e.g. not taking into account the impact of COVID-19);
- have a satisfactory outlook on profitability and continuity;
- have not made extraordinary capital distributions (e.g. dividend) in the 12 months period prior to the date of application or granting of credit lines; and
- use the credit lines for financing their own business.
Go-arrangements only cover credit lines which relate to “fresh money”. The fresh money principle entails that the go-financing (i) increases the total commitment of the relevant bank to the company and (ii) directly serves the business of the company. A Go-C can be provided as senior debt (non convertible and not subordinated) with a maximum maturity of 6 years for the financing of liquidity needs (both working capital and investments) of a borrower as a result of COVID-19. The bank has a best efforts obligation to obtain additional security from the borrower with the highest possible ranking. Interest can be fixed or a combination of fixed and floating (based on Euribor).
The minimum amount guaranteed under Go-C is EUR 1.5 million and the maximum amount is (i) an amount equal to double the annual wage bill of the borrower for 2019 or the last year over which this amount has been calculated or in case a borrower has been incorporated on or after 1 January 2019, an amount equal to its estimated annual wage bill for two years after incorporation; or (iii) 25 per cent of the annual revenue for 2019 or (iv) providing proper motivation and certification of liquidity needs, an amount determined on the basis of a liquidity plan (can include both working capital and investments) provided by the borrower to fulfil liquidity needs for a period of 18 months for small and-medium sized (SMEs) and 12 months for large companies from entering into the Go-C., with a limit of EUR 150 million (of which 80 per cent (for large businesses) and 90 per cent (for SMEs) will be guaranteed by the Dutch State). The term of the guarantee cannot be longer than the term of the Go-C facility (maximum of 6 years).
Who is ineligible for go-arrangements?
Companies which are active in the following sectors currently do not qualify for go-arrangements:
- real estate; however, the go-arrangement is accessible to intermediary activities, own use, development financing;
- financial sector; however, the go-arrangement is accessible to intermediary activities and operational lease; and
- healthcare insofar as the company is a healthcare provider that provides services as described in the Healthcare Insurance Act (Zorgverzekeringswet) and the AWBZ.
The go-financing may not (i) be used to refinance existing credit lines or (ii) result in a passing of the existing credit risks to the Dutch State. However bridge or emergency credits may be re-financed under the Go-C if approved in advance by the Dutch State. In addition, existing loans taken over by a new bank can be guaranteed under Go-C if this solves a (financial) issue with the company. The go-arrangement may not be used to re-finance existing indebtedness (of scheduled repayments or due to a breach of covenants) or to offer better financings conditions.
Currently the following banks participate in the go-arrangements:
- ABN-Amro Bank;
- Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (Holland);
- Deutsche Bank AG, Amsterdam Branch;
- ING Bank;
- NIBC Bank;
- Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS);
- Société Générale; and
- Triodos Bank.
For project financing only the following banks participate:
- ABN-Amro Bank;
- Rabo Real Estate Finance;
- ING Real Estate Finance; and
- NIBC Bank
There is currently only one insurer which participates:
- Nationale Borg-Maatschappij.
We expect that more insurance companies will participate.
If a company wishes to attract a go-facility they need to go to one of the above financial institutions. They will assess whether the company (and the requested credit) meets the relevant criteria and if so they can submit a request with the Dutch State to apply for the go-arrangements.
We refer to the FAQ for a more detailed explanation on Go-C.
Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.