Commercial Aviation

UAV Factory, a Portfolio Company of AE Industrial Partners, Acquires Jennings Aeronautics

AE Industrial Partners | September 16, 2021

UAV Factory, a Portfolio Company of AE Industrial Partners, Acquires Jennings Aeronautics
AE Industrial Partners, LP ("AEI"), a US-based private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power generation, and specialty industrial markets, announced today that it has expanded its Unmanned and Autonomous platform through the acquisition of Jennings Aeronautics, Inc. ("JAI"), a leading provider of innovative Small Unmanned Aerial Systems . JAI will be combined with UAV Factory, a global leader in tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ("UAV") and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance ("ISR") technology, which was acquired by AEI in January of 2021.

As part of the transaction, JAI CEO John Purvis will assume the role of CEO of the combined company, while JAI Founder Gordon Jennings will remain with the combined company in a senior leadership role. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based in San Luis Obispo, CA, JAI's systems have a strong operational track record supporting customer requirements across a variety of challenging global environments. JAI's experienced team of engineers and technicians have extensive expertise in the production of innovative SUAS that merge the payload capacity and endurance of larger systems with the flexibility of a more portable vehicle. Built to include a true next generation electric vertical take-off capability and a ruggedized solid oxide fuel cell, JAI's SUAS have best-in-class endurance and allow for the support and performance of a diverse set of customer missions in challenging environments with minimal requirements on the ground. JAI is a truly differentiated provider of small unmanned systems, with unmatched experience in autonomous flight control software, avionics, GCS software, system integration, design engineering, imaging payloads, and airframe fabrication.

Joining the UAV Factory team and the AEI family at this exciting time in the industry's development is a game-changer for JAI and I'm honored to take the helm of the combined company during this pivotal moment, We will now have more capital, operational expertise and an international footprint allowing us to grow our business and support our customers better than we could alone. I look forward to working with the team as we continue to build a truly disruptive and differentiated player in the unmanned and autonomous market.

- John Purvis, CEO at JAI 

AEI is committed to building a unique and differentiated platform with proprietary technology in the unmanned and autonomous market, and with the addition of JAI and its innovative SUAS offerings, we have taken a huge step forward in reaching this goal, JAI also affords us tremendous manufacturing and engineering capabilities and a footprint that will allow us to quickly scale and meet the growing demands of our customers.

- Jeffrey Hart, Principal at AEI.

Kirkland & Ellis served as legal advisor and William Blair and PricewaterhouseCoopers served as financial advisors to AEI and UAV Factory. Orrick was legal advisor to JAI.

About Jennings Aeronautics, Inc.
Based in San Luis Obispo, CA, JAI is a leading provider of innovative, high-quality Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS). With unmatched experience in autonomous flight control software, avionics, GCS software, system integration, design engineering, imaging payloads, and airframe fabrication, JAI is a true one-stop SUAS source. Founded almost 30 years ago, JAI offers a full range of products and services including engineering and design, manufacturing and fabrication, and integration and testing.

About UAV Factory
UAV Factory, a leader in unmanned and autonomous technology, was established in 2009 with the goal of developing the most advanced platforms and sensors in the unmanned market. UAV Factory benefits from its vertically integrated operations and global footprint where its Penguin class of UAV, as well as its Octopus ISR stabilized EO/IR camera payloads offer unmatched reliability and performance.

About AE Industrial Partners
AE Industrial Partners is a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power generation, and specialty industrial markets. AE Industrial Partners invests in market-leading companies that can benefit from our deep industry knowledge, operating experience, and relationships throughout our target markets. AE Industrial Partners is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

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Safety, efficiency, and business performance are all key factors in defining success in the aviation industry. Improving upon each of those factors is incredibly important to every individual in the industry. This informative infographic outlines several ways you can do this.


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