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AE Industrial Partners Reaches a Definitive Agreement to Acquire a Significant Stake in Firefly Aerospace, a Leading Provider of Launch and In-Space Vehicles

Feb. 24, 2022

AE Industrial Partners, LP  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.