- Press Release
- Feb 7, 2023
AE Industrial Partners Reaches a Definitive Agreement to Acquire a Significant Stake in Firefly Aerospace, a Leading Provider of Launch and In-Space V
AE Industrial Partners, LP (“AEI”), a U.S-based private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power and utility services, and specialty industrial markets, announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire a significant stake in Firefly Aerospace (“Firefly” or “the Company”), an emerging leader in economical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, from Noosphere Venture Partners LP (“Noosphere”). Transaction closing is subject to the satisfaction of regulatory approvals, including Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) clearance. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
With the acquisition of Noosphere’s stake in Firefly, AEI will further expand its robust space investment portfolio, which includes investments in Redwire Space and Sierra Space. With the previous support and investment from Noosphere, the Company is now positioned for robust growth in the space transportation market. Firefly raised Series A financing in May of 2021 at a $1.1 billion valuation. Firefly performed its first launch of Alpha, its flagship launch vehicle, in September, and its second vehicle is awaiting necessary approvals ahead of its launch. Firefly has also recently completed the “critical design review” phase for its Blue Ghost Lunar Lander Program, bringing the Company one step closer to launching in late 2023.
Having recently achieved several major milestones, Firefly is at an inflection point and AEI’s acquisition will allow the Company to realize the significant opportunities ahead. AEI’s portfolio companies have a history of serving as strategic partners to the top national security agencies, including the Department of Defense. AEI believes that leveraging this experience will be a critical advantage as Firefly looks to secure additional U.S. Federal Government contracts.
Headquartered in Cedar Park, TX, Firefly is committed to providing economical and convenient access to space for small payloads through the design, manufacturing and operation of reliable launch vehicles. The Company leverages commercial off–the–shelf (“COTS”) components, manufactured by suppliers across the United States to reduce risk, maximize reliability and minimize development time, while addressing the market’s need for flexible access to space with a “simplest/soonest” approach to technology selection. Firefly is committed to restoring U.S. leadership in the small- to-medium launch market, while establishing international strategic partnerships to effectively serve the global market.
Covington & Burling LLP served as legal advisor and Ernst & Young served as financial advisor to AEI. DLA Piper LLP (US) and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisors, and Jefferies LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor to Noosphere Venture Partners.
About Firefly Aerospace
Firefly is developing a family of launch and in-space vehicles and services that provide industry-leading affordability, convenience, and reliability. Firefly’s launch vehicles utilize common technologies, manufacturing infrastructure and launch capabilities, providing LEO launch solutions for up to ten metric tons of payload at the lowest cost per kg in the small-launch class. Combined with Firefly’s in-space vehicles, such as the Space Utility Vehicle and Blue Ghost Lunar Lander, Firefly provides the space industry with a single source for missions from LEO to the surface of the Moon or beyond. Firefly is headquartered in Cedar Park, TX. For more information please see: www.firefly.com.
About Noosphere Venture Partners LP
Noosphere Venture Partners LP, founded by Dr. Max Polyakov, is an international asset management firm with the strategic vision to transform high-potential companies into definitive market leaders. The company’s mission is to change the landscape of the digital economy and Noosphere invests in projects around the world that primarily are focused on space, consumer internet, advertising and marketing technologies. About Noosphere Venture Partners: www.noosphereventures.com.
About AE Industrial Partners
AE Industrial Partners is a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power & utility services, and specialty industrial markets. AE Industrial Partners invests in market-leading companies that can benefit from our deep industry knowledge, operating experience, and relationships throughout our target markets. AE Industrial Partners is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and the ILPA Diversity in Action initiative. Learn more at www.aeroequity.com.
Lambert & Co.