Friday, 29 May 2020

Iliad proves a team player, sets up support fund for SME contractors

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 02 April 20

The French operator said the first €10 million will released following applications

Iliad has proven itself quite magnanimous in recent weeks, helping to prop up its smaller subcontractors who have been financially stricken by the coronavirus outbreak.   Two weeks ago, the French operator took the decision to pay their SME suppliers&rsquo…

Iliad has proven itself quite magnanimous in recent weeks, helping to prop up its smaller subcontractors who have been financially stricken by the coronavirus outbreak.
 
Two weeks ago, the French operator took the decision to pay their SME suppliers’ invoices immediately, rather than waiting the typical 45 days, in order to help revitalise the cash flow of these smaller enterprises. This equated to around €90 million paid to around 700 companies. 
 
Now, the operator has decided to go one step further, issuing subordinated bonds to its SME suppliers, repayable over five to seven years. It is hoped that this funding will not only help solidify the SMEs’ direct financial positions, but will also help them to secure bank loans if required.
 
The new support fund, dubbed Solid-19, will be carried by a wholly owned subsidiary of Iliad, also called Solid-19.
 
Currently, €10 million has been freed up for allocation, pending successful applications.
 
For Iliad, the ecosystem of its SME business partners is a major cog in their network deployment machine. Keeping that ecosystem healthy will be a deciding factor when it comes to this year’s network rollouts.
 
“By endeavoring to preserve its production capacities through this initiative, Iliad retains the means to achieve its ambition – to continue the deployment of networks in all territories,” said a company statement.
 
 
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