AE Industrial Partners picks up unmanned aircraft maker

One of the government market’s more serial private equity buyers has made its first deal of the calendar year that creates a new platform focused on unmanned technology.

AE Industrial Partners said Thursday it has acquired UAV Factory, a provider of tactical unmanned aircraft and technologies for ISR -- intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Terms were undisclosed, while UAV Factory will be a standalone unmanned tech platform for AEI to further invest in that market.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Latvia, UAV Factory designs and makes the vehicles for government and commercial customers in at least 55 countries. The company has a second location in Bend, Oregon.

UAV Factory’s product line includes airframes, engines, electro-optical/infrared ISR payloads and other components.

Konstantin Popiks, co-founder of UAV Factory, will remain with the company in a senior leadership role.

Houlihan Lokey was the financial adviser to UAV Factory with Blank Rome and Walless the legal adviser on the sell side. Kirkland & Ellis served as legal adviser and PwC acted as financial advisor to AEI.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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