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    Aster Capital, the venture capital fund sponsored by Alstom and Schneider Electric, welcomes Rhodia as a third sponsor

    Paris (France), February 23, 2011 – Aster Capital today announces Rhodia’s acquisition of an interest in Aster II, the venture capital fund targeting innovative technology start-ups. This fund, specifically focused on energy, advanced materials and environment sectors, should eventually raise 120 to 150 € millions.

    Joining forces in this novel multi-corporate venture capital fund, the three sponsors – Alstom, Rhodia and Schneider Electric – will actively promote the development of young and innovative companies. By fostering cooperation and partnerships, it will guarantee the relevance of technologies and markets assessed to investors. Companies in the fund’s portfolio will also have access to the global network of each of the three partners.

    The mission of Aster Capital is to take minority interests in innovative start-ups base in Europe, North America and Asia, developing new technologies that could lead major breakthroughs in the fields of energy, advanced materials and environment. Aster Capital benefits from the venture capital expertise that the 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. With four offices in Europe, United States, China and Japan, the Aster Capital ten experts team, including the two who joined from Alstom in 2010, will further reinforces its capabilities with the next arrival of an expert from Rhodia.

    In joining Aster Capital beside Schneider Electric and Alstom, Rhodia will benefit of innovation as one of the key levers to deliver on his ambition of growth and be in the vanguard to identify ambitious breakthrough projects as well as contributing to develop young and innovative companies that will become future partners of Rhodia’s development and innovation.

    About Aster Capital
    Aster Capital, headquartered in Paris, was founded in 2000 by Schneider Electric. Aster Capital manages two funds: SEV1, a 50 M€ fund with investments in more than 20 companies and Aster II, initially sponsored by Schneider Electric and Alstom with a first closing at 70 M€. This second fund offers a unique « multicorporate » business model, and will target minority stakes in innovative start-ups located in Europe, North America and Asia and operating in the field of energy, advanced materials and the environment.

    Contact presse Alstom
    Philippe Kasse, Stéphane Farhi
    Contact presse Schneider Electric
    Véronique Roquet Montegon
    Tel : + 33 (0) 1 41 49 29 82 / 33 08
    Tél. : +33 (0)1 41 29 70 76

    Contact presse Rhodia
    Roxanne Diarra
    Tel : + 33 (0)1 53 56 59 62