The Solvay group consolidates its leadership in energy efficiency and CO2 with the acquisition of ORBEO

Solvay announced today it is acquiring Société Générale’s equity interest in ORBEO, the 50/50 joint venture between the two groups dedicated to the carbon markets. Once this transaction has been completed, ORBEO will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rhodia Energy, itself a subsidiary of Solvay. This acquisition illustrates the determination of the Solvay Group to continue Rhodia’s drive to develop its activities in the area of greenhouse gas emission abatement.

Rhodia Energy wants to step up its contribution to the fight against climate change by taking full advantage of the industrial expertise developed by Solvay and Rhodia and by expanding its range of solutions in the area of the integrated management of energy and CO2 emissions. This will enable its customers to enjoy access to innovative, efficient and value-creating solutions aimed at improving their environmental footprint and reducing their energy costs.

At the end of the acquisition process, ORBEO’s personnel will join Rhodia Energy; this will allow the company to capitalize on the wealth of their combined expertise acquired in the carbon markets and the development of greenhouse gas emission abatement projects. The completion of this transaction – which should be finalized at the end of 2011 – is subject to the withdrawal by the French Prudential Supervision Authority (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel) of its approval of ORBEO as an “investment company.”

ORBEO was created in 2006 by Rhodia (50%) and Société Générale (50%) following the creation of carbon-trading markets in 2005 and the application of the Kyoto Protocol in Europe. In accordance with the timetable included in the ORBEO shareholders’ pact, discussions were initiated between the two Groups to review the future of this partnership. At this end of these discussions, Rhodia and Société Générale decided to continue their activities in the area of CO2 abatement independently and to pursue their respective objectives alone. After five years’ working together, both Société Générale and Rhodia see their partnership in an extremely positive light.

SOLVAY is an international chemical Group committed to sustainable development with a clear focus on innovation and operational excellence. Its recent acquisition of specialty chemicals company Rhodia created a much larger player, which is realizing over 90% of its sales in markets where it is among the top 3 global leaders. Solvay offers a broad range of products that contribute to improving the quality of life and its customers' performance in markets such as consumer goods, construction, automotive, energy, water and environment, and electronics. The Group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 30,000 people in 55 countries and generated EUR 12 billion in sales (pro forma) in 2010. Solvay SA is listed on NYSE Euronext (SOLB.BE - Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR).

Rhodia Energy is a Global Business Unit (GBU) of Rhodia, a member of the Solvay Group, specializing in energy optimization and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, in accordance with the group’s commitment to the fight against climate change. Rhodia Energy has developed energy management strategies in addition to major emission abatement projects organized within the framework of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the aegis of the Kyoto Protocol. Since 2009, Rhodia Energy has consolidated its expertise by investing in renewable sources of energy.


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