AE Industrial Partners Leads $75 Million Series B Growth Equity Investment in Firefly Aerospace, a Leading Provider of Launch and Space Vehicles

AEI Simultaneously Closes Its Previously Announced Strategic Investment in Firefly Aerospace

BOCA RATON, Florida., March 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — AE Industrial Partners, LP (“AEI”), an American private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense and government services, space, energy and utilities, and specialty industrial markets, today announced that it is leading a $75 million Series B financing round in Firefly Aerospace (“Firefly” or the “Company”), an emerging leader in cost-effective launch vehicles, spacecraft and space services. The Series B investment will support Firefly’s next stage of growth by providing capital for future Alpha flights, the Blue Ghost Lunar Lander program, and the development of additional launch and in-space solutions. Concurrently, AEI completed the previously announced acquisition of Noosphere Venture Partners LP (“Noosphere Ventures”)’s stake in the company. The transaction values ​​Firefly above its May 2021 Series A rating of more than $1 billion.

AE Industrial Partners (PRNewsfoto/AE Industrial Partners, LP)

“With the closing of our previously announced acquisition, along with the additional Series B financing, Firefly now has the resources to deliver new innovations in space launchers,” said Kirk Konert, Partner at AEI. “Having recently passed significant milestones, the company is at an inflection point, and our investments will position Firefly to take advantage of significant opportunities ahead. We look forward to partnering with the Firefly team at such an exciting time to space transportation.”

Based at Cedar Park, Texas, Firefly is committed to providing economical and convenient access to space for small to medium payloads through the design, manufacture and operation of reliable spacecraft and launch vehicles. The company’s vertical integration business model also leverages commercial off-the-shelf components in the United States. This approach enables Firefly to minimize development time and be first to market with new, low-cost capabilities for the space transportation industry. Firefly is committed to strengthening US leadership in the small-to-midsize launch market, while building international strategic partnerships to effectively serve the global market.

“The acquisition of AE Industrial marks an exciting new chapter for Firefly,” said Tom Markusic, CEO of Firefly. “These investments allow Firefly to build on the momentum of last year’s funding and better position us for future growth. We look forward to working with the AEI team and benefiting from their industry and financial market experience.

The Company carried out its first launch of Alpha, its flagship launcher, in September 2021. With the closing of the transaction, Firefly looks forward to resuming its relationship with the government and expects to have a second Alpha launch in the second quarter of 2022. Its second vehicle recently completed two-stage acceptance testing and will be ready for launch in the next few months. Firefly also recently completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) phase for its Blue Ghost lunar lander, and is currently working on the final Integration Readiness Review (IRR) prefabrication to be presented in April.

AEI’s portfolio companies are used to serving as strategic partners for major national security agencies, including the Department of Defense. AEI believes that leveraging this experience will be a critical advantage as Firefly seeks additional contracts with the US federal government.

“Firefly is a great addition to AE Industrial’s portfolio of space assets,” said Tyler Letarte, Vice-president of the AEI. “We see significant tailwinds and opportunities for Firefly in the small-to-midsize launch landscape and look forward to accelerating the company’s path to successful payload delivery.”

“The AE Industrial transaction paves the way for Firefly to achieve lasting success,” said the founder of Noosphere Ventures. Max Polyakovwho co-founded Firefly Aerospace in 2017. “Firefly has enormous potential to capture a significant share of the space market. the long-term success of this unicorn.”

Covington & Burling LLP acted as legal advisor and Ernst & Young acted as financial advisor to AEI. Crowell & Moring LLP and Hogan Lovells LLP acted as legal counsel to Firefly. DLA Piper LLP (USA) and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisors, and Jefferies LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Noosphere Ventures.

About Firefly Aerospace

Firefly is developing a family of launch and space vehicles and services that deliver industry-leading affordability, convenience and reliability. Firefly’s launch vehicles use 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 space vehicles, such as the Blue Ghost space utility vehicle and lunar lander, Firefly provides the space industry with a single source for LEO missions to the surface of the Moon or beyond. Firefly is headquartered in Cedar Park, Texas. For more information, please see: www.firefly.com.

About AE Industry Partners

AE Industrial Partners is a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense and government services, space, energy and utilities, and specialty industrial markets. AE Industrial Partners invests in market-leading companies that can benefit from our deep industry knowledge, operational experience and relationships in 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 about www.aeroequity.com.

About Noosphere Venture Partners LP

Noosphere Venture Partners LP, founded by Dr. Max Polyakov, is an international asset management firm whose strategic vision is 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 are primarily focused on space, consumer internet, advertising and marketing technologies. About Noosphere Venture Partners: www.noosphereventures.com.

CONTACT:

For AE Industrial:
Lambert
Jennifer Hurson
845-507-0571
[email protected]
Where
Caroline Luz
203-656-2829
[email protected]

For Firefly:
Kim Jennett
408-375-4758
[email protected]

Firefly Aerospace (PRNewsfoto/AE Industrial Partners, LP)

Firefly Aerospace (PRNewsfoto/AE Industrial Partners, LP)

Noosphere Ventures

Noosphere Ventures

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SOURCE AE Industrial Partners, LP

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