Air Liquide Partners with Rothschild & Co and the Solar Impulse Foundation

Source: 5/27/2021, Location: Europe

Air Liquide partners with Rothschild & Co and the Solar Impulse Foundation (“SIF”) to launch a 200 million euro growth, buyout & late stage venture investment fund. This vehicle’s strategy will be to scale up companies that develop environment-friendly solutions.

Early this year, the Solar Impulse Foundation announced that it had identified more than 1,000 profitable solutions that could contribute to protect the environment. In a context where Air Liquide announced its ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050, Air Liquide has decided to partner with Rothschild & Co and the Solar Impulse Foundation to develop a new investment platform. It will be focused on companies demonstrating a positive measurable impact on the environment and society across Europe. Target sectors will include clean energy, sustainable food and agriculture, circular economy, clean water and sanitation, smart cities, sustainable mobility, and industrial innovation.

The 200 million euro platform will be managed by Rothschild & Co’s Merchant Banking business and will be advised by Air Liquide, through its Venture Capital Arm ALIAD, on Late Stage Venture investments.

Air Liquide has been partnering with Bertrand Piccard and the Solar Impulse Foundation since 2013 with the first successful round-the-world solar-powered flight. In the past few years, the need for a cleaner future has gained momentum. In this context, Air Liquide has recently announced its new ESG objectives to ACT for a Sustainable future. This new initiative will enable the Group to accelerate Energy Transition. Since its inception in 2013, ALIAD has invested in more than 35 companies for a total capital committed of nearly 100 million euros, with around one third of ALIAD investments made in the impact field.

Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said:
“Sustainable development is at the heart of Air Liquide’s strategy. With this initiative, led through ALIAD, its venture capital arm, Air Liquide aims to foster the development of technologies in line with its global ambition to ACT for a sustainable future. We are delighted to be able to contribute with Air Liquide’s expertise to the emergence of innovative companies in the impact field, alongside Rothschild & Co and the Solar Impulse Foundation, of whom we have been a long-standing partner. We are convinced that it is only by acting together with governments, academics, industries, and financial institutions, that we will be able to succeed and build a more sustainable future.”

Alexandre de Rothschild, Executive Chairman of Rothschild & Co said:
“We are delighted to partner with Air Liquide and the Solar Impulse Foundation in this initiative. At the core of Rothschild & Co’s strategy is the strong belief in the benefits of responsible investing for long-term value creation. We believe that our strong track record of private equity investing, developed in our Merchant Banking business for over a decade, will be enhanced by the expertise brought by our partners in this exciting venture”.

Bertrand Piccard, Founder and Initiator of the Solar Impulse Foundation said:
“We’ve proven that over 1000 profitable solutions exist to protect the environment. Now we need to show that investing in new and clean technologies makes both economic and ecological sense, fostering qualitative growth rather than the quantitative growth we see today. To achieve this, we’ve partnered with reputable institutions with whom we have long-standing relationships and are willing to embark with us on this pioneering journey.”

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