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AE Industrial Partners Affiliate Acquires 2 Million Square Ft. Industrial Facility in Northwest Alabama

Gracie Gottlieb | 30 January, 2024

Unlocking the Potential: AE Industrial Partners Establishes Aerospace Center of Excellence in Northwest Alabama Boca Raton, FL - AE Industrial Partners, LP ("AEI"), a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, national security, and industrial services, has made a significant acquisition that will propel the aerospace industry in Northwest Alabama to new heights. AEI's affiliate, Rocket Shoals LLC, has acquired an industrial facility, known as the "Shoals," from the Retirement Systems of Alabama. This acquisition marks the beginning of an exciting venture to transform the facility into an aerospace center of excellence, creating opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and economic growth. The newly acquired facility, located at 1200 Haley Drive in Cherokee, Alabama, spans an impressive 2.27 million square feet, situated on 638 acres of industrial zoned manufacturing capacity. With previous tenants like National Steel Car, Navistar, and FreightCar America, the facility's history in manufacturing and its LEED registration make it an ideal choice for aerospace manufacturing. AEI plans to make the Shoals facility the headquarters for select portfolio companies, while also opening its doors to other aerospace suppliers, manufacturers, and innovators. As part of their commitment to delivering value to federal customers, AEI will collaborate with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, a federally recognized tribe of Native Americans, to combine their capabilities and bring innovative solutions to the table. David Rowe, Co-CEO and Managing Partner at AE Industrial, shared his excitement about the acquisition, stating, "AE Industrial is a highly focused investment firm, with a strategy to drive value creation at the nexus of the aerospace, space, and defense markets - all sectors that are currently thriving in Alabama. We look forward to building an aerospace center of excellence in The Shoals that benefits the community, the state of Alabama, and our portfolio companies." The acquisition has also sparked enthusiasm from local leaders and stakeholders in the Shoals area. Kevin Jackson, President of Shoals Economic Development Authority (EDA), expressed his excitement about the new possibilities this endeavor would bring. Jackson said, "This transaction opens the doors to many new possibilities for The Shoals. We can't wait to get started on this new endeavor, opening up Northwest Alabama as an aerospace destination." The greater Shoals area, along with the corridor stretching east to Huntsville, boasts a highly skilled and educated workforce, making it an attractive hub for the aerospace industry. With an increasing number of aerospace engineers and technology professionals, the region is poised to become a vibrant aerospace corridor. Chris Emerson, Senior Partner at AE Industrial, highlighted the firm's commitment to the region, saying, "We are proud to call Alabama home as we expand several of our marquee companies in the Shoals area. Our collective experiences with past projects, including Mercedes-Benz and the Airbus final assembly line in Mobile, give us confidence in our strong regional relationships and ability to engage with local partners to establish north Alabama as an 'aerospace corridor'." AE Industrial Partners, with $5.4 billion of assets under management, is a private investment firm focused on highly specialized markets such as aerospace, national security, and industrial services. With their deep industry knowledge, operating experience, and extensive network of relationships, AE Industrial has completed over 130 investments in market-leading companies. Their commitment to driving value creation, coupled with their investments across private equity, venture capital (AEI HorizonX), and aerospace leasing, positions them as a key player in their respective sectors. The establishment of the aerospace center of excellence in the Shoals area is not only a testament to AE Industrial Partners' vision but also a significant milestone for the future of aerospace in Northwest Alabama. With the right infrastructure, skilled workforce, and collaborative partnerships, the region is primed to become a prominent player in the aerospace industry. As AEI's portfolio companies and other aerospace stakeholders converge at the Shoals facility, the possibilities for growth and innovation are limitless. For more information about AE Industrial Partners and their investments, please visit Together, let's soar to new heights in the aerospace industry.

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