NASA‘s recent Artemis I launch has everyone excited about the possible return of manned missions to the moon. But fans of the old Apollo missions aren’t the only ones who have their interest piqued. Dealmakers like AE Industrial Partners in the aerospace, defense and government services industries are bullish on the market looking to the future.

AE Industrial Partners, a private equity firm focused on space, defense and government services and power investments, has purchased a majority stake in York Space Systems. YSS is an independent provider of small satellites, satellite parts and turnkey mission operations.

“Space, defense, and government services continue to have strong macro tailwinds, and we believe M&A will continue to be active in this space,” says Kirk Konert, a partner at AE Industrial Partners. “Aerospace has rebounded and several middle market companies are ready to come to market, which means 2023 could be a busy year for aerospace M&A. Power and utility services have benefited from the clean energy transition, and we like nuclear technology as a place to invest and where we believe activity will be strong.”

As privatized space gains more and more integration with government agencies, AEI views York as a disruptor in both federal government and commercial markets. YSS boasts three contracts with the Space Development Agency, a federal organization that falls under the U.S. Department of Defense. Konert explains that the federal government represents the biggest customer in the space which the firm believes will yield an advantage for the target firm in mass production and economies of scale for winning large commercial contracts.

AEI will actively explore additional M&A opportunities to support its acquisition of YSS.

When do you think the next person will step foot on the moon? Let me know at [email protected].

Cole Lipsky