Tom Markusic Out as Firefly CEO 3 Months After AEI Takes Majority Stake in Rocket Company

Tom Markusic and Lauren Lyons in front of Firefly Alpha rocket on the pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base. (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Firefly Aerospace co-founder Tom Markusic is out as CEO, a move that comes three months after AE Industrial Partners (AEI) led a $75 million Series B funding round and completed its acquisition of a majority stake in the rocket company.

Firefly announced this week that Markusic transitioned to the role of full-time board member and chief technical advisor on Thursday, June 16. He remains “a significant minority investor” in the company, which is preparing for the second flight test of its Alpha small-satellite booster.

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

AEI Concurrently Closes its Previously Announced Strategic Investment in Firefly Aerospace

BOCA RATON, Fla., March 22, 2022 (AE Industrial Partners PR) — AE Industrial Partners, LP (“AEI”), a U.S-based private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense and government services, space, power and utility services, and specialty industrial markets, announced today that it led a $75 million Series B financing round in Firefly Aerospace (“Firefly” or the “Company”), an emerging leader in economical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-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 its previously reported acquisition of Noosphere Venture Partners LP’s (“Noosphere Ventures”) stake in the Company. The transaction values Firefly above its May 2021 Series A valuation of more than $1 billion.

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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

Definitive Agreement on Acquisition by U.S.-based Investment Firm will Fuel Firefly’s Continued Journey as a Leader in End-to-End Space Transportation

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 24, 2022 (AEI PR) — 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.

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AE Industrial Partners and The Boeing Company Form Strategic Partnership to Expand Early-Stage Investing at HorizonX Ventures

AE Industrial Partners to manage and expand HorizonX venture capital activity for Boeing and other limited partners as AEI HorizonX, investing in businesses that will transform the future of mobility, space and connectivity, industrial tech, and enterprise digital solutions, with a broader emphasis on sustainability.

BOCA RATON, FL, August 5, 2021 (AE Industrial Partners PR) – AE Industrial Partners, LP (“AEI”), a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power generation, and specialty industrial markets, announced today a partnership with The Boeing Company (“Boeing”) to manage and invest in HorizonX Ventures, Boeing’s venture capital fund. This partnership augments AEI’s capabilities by focusing on early-stage minority equity investments in transformative technologies and businesses that will define the future of AEI’s target markets through the development of new capabilities and an expansion of sustainable aviation.

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