AEI Forms New UAV Platform

AE Industrial Partners (AEI) has acquired UAV Factory as a new platform investment in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) technology markets.

UAV Factory designs and manufactures fixed-wing UAVs, UAV subsystems, electro-optical and infra-red ISR camera payloads, and accessories for the unmanned and manned aircraft industry. UAV Factory was founded in 2009 and is based in Riga, Latvia and has a US location in Bend, Oregon.

“The UAV market is growing exponentially, and with the financial and operational support of AEI, UAV Factory is poised for increased growth and market share,” said Konstantin Popiks, a co-founder of UAV Factory who will remain with the company in a senior leadership role in partnership with AEI.

“UAV Factory is at the forefront of the burgeoning global UAV market,” said Kirk Konert, a partner at AEI. “Its first-mover advantage and unique vertical integration of its proprietary technology solutions well-positions the company to expand its share of this high growth market.”

Boca Raton-based AEI invests in the aerospace and defense, power generation, and specialty industrial sectors with a specific focus on technical manufacturing; distribution and supply chain management; maintenance, repair, and overhaul; and industrial service-based businesses. Typical company targets will have from $50 million to $500 million of revenue. In July 2018, the firm held a final hard-cap closing of its second private equity fund, AE Industrial Partners Fund II LP, with $1.36 billion in commitments.

“UAV Factory’s engineering and technical capabilities, combined with its proven and growing set of technology solutions, are truly differentiated in the market,” said Jeffrey Hart, a principal at AEI. “We are excited to partner with the company’s talented team and are confident that our collective strategic vision for an unmanned technology platform will yield powerful results in this fast-growing market.”

Houlihan Lokey was the financial advisor to UAV Factory and PricewaterhouseCoopers advised AEI.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | January 29, 2021

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