The Italian retailers OVS and Rinascente have obtained government-guaranteed loans as part of the so-called liquidity decree to support large companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The measure applies to firms with more than 5,000 employees in Italy and annual revenues above €1.5 billion.

Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri agreed to guarantee, through the Italian export credit agency Sace, 80 percent of a €100 million loan granted to OVS by a pool of banks led by UniCredit. It is the first state-guaranteed loan approved under the liquidity decree, according to the economy ministry.

OVS is considered of strategic importance for Italy, employing more than 7,600 people and providing a further 4,000 jobs indirectly. During the period of the loan, OVS will have to manage employment levels jointly with the trade unions and not distribute or approve dividends throughout 2020.

Meanwhile, Rinascente signed a €35 million financing agreement with the bank Intesa Sanpaolo which is guaranteed at 70 percent by Sace. The funds will be used to pay suppliers and replenish the working capital.

Rinascente’s chief financial officer, Mariella Elia, said that “this first financing” was decisive to pay its small and medium-sized Italian suppliers and to “support the fashion manufacturing industry, heavily penalized in this moment.”