14/01/2010 - Alstom and Schneider Electric are joining forces to launch a new venture capital fund to finance innovative start-ups in the fields of energy and the environment. This is the first time worldwide that two major industrial groups are associated in a joint initiative of this nature, which, in addition, remains open to the participation of other potential partners.
The fund, Aster Capital, is based in Paris and will receive progressively a capital subscription of €70 million, from Schneider Electric (€40 million) and Alstom (€30 million). Other industrial partners can be invited to join this initiative to create the European benchmark fund specializing in energy and the environment.
Aster Capital will benefit from the venture capital expertise that the Schneider Electric Ventures team has acquired since 2000 through the management of its first €50 million fund invested in more than 20 companies in North America and Europe (www.se-ventures.com). Two experts from Alstom have recently joined the team, further strengthening its capabilities.
The mission of Aster Capital (www.aster.com) is to take minority interests in innovative start-ups based in Europe, North America and Asia, developing new technologies that could lead to major breakthroughs in the fields of energy and the environment.
The two founding partners, which are world leaders in their respective businesses, share the aim to support the development of innovative young companies and to nurture coorperation and partnerships for their respective markets.
Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, and provides tunrkey integrated power plant solutions, equipment and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind. The Group employs more than 80,000 people in 70 countries, and had orders of € 24.6 billion in 2008/09
About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company's 114,000 employees achieved sales of more than 18.3 billion euros in 2008, through an active commitment to help individuals and organisations "Make the most of their energy".