Cases & Deals

Rhodia acquires minority stake in Eight19

Client(s) Rhodia SA

Jones Day advised Rhodia, which has joined with the UK's Carbon Trust, in a £4.5 million (US$7 million) equity offering of the solar energy start-up Eight19 to develop "organic photovoltaic" technology. This investment will allow Rhodia to be actively involved in the development of this new technology, bringing its industrial know-how and best-in-class research capabilities.

The breakthrough organic photovoltaic technology will use semi-conducting organic polymers to provide solar power at a price substantially lower than that offered by first and second-generation technologies. The solar cells will be similar in appearance to photographic films and be flexible, lightweight and extremely easy to install, allowing to address new market segments such as building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), intelligent fabrics, mobile electric equipment or self-powered electronic devices.

The photovoltaic market is expected to expand rapidly, with growth rates of 20% to 30% per year. According to Rhodia and its partners, organic photovoltaic technology should enable the deployment of low carbon electricity on a very large scale.