Ukrainian Max Polyakov to sell stake in Firefly Aerospace on U.S. gov’t demand

Ukrainian Max Polyakov to sell stake in Firefly Aerospace on U.S. gov’t demand

Noosphere Ventures and its Ukrainian founder Max Polyakov will attract an investment banking firm to sell shares in Firefly Aerospace at the request of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.

This was reported to Ukrinform by the company's press service.

Noosphere Venture Partners LP announced yesterday that it “intends to retain an investment banking firm to assist in the sale of Noosphere Ventures’ ownership interest in Firefly Aerospace,” the statement said.

It is noted that the decision was made in response to the requirements put forward by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

It is noted that Max Polyakov, a Ukrainian national, has a 50% stake in Firefly.

Firefly and Noosphere Ventures have been working with the U.S. government for over five years.

Throughout this period, Firefly sealed contracts with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NAS, and the US Air Force, as well as received numerous licenses from other U.S. government agencies.

In addition, Firefly has sealed a long-term deal to gain access to the 2W launch pad at the Vandenberg Space Forces base.

As part of the said contracts and partnerships, Max Polyakov personally and his company have repeatedly undergone thorough vetting but no security issues have been discovered, the company said.

Noosphere Ventures and Polyakov have done their utmost to apply best practices and ensure security, according to the statement.

Read also: Ukrainian businessman Polyakov’s company to cooperate with SpaceX on mission to Moon

The company recalled that in November 2020, Firefly and Noosphere Ventures voluntarily restructured Firefly to remove Noosphere representatives from Firefly's Board, and closed Noosphere Ventures' access to any Firefly information other than financial data normally provided to shareholders.

Also on the Firefly Board of Directors are Deborah Lee James, former Secretary of the United States Air Force, and Robert Cardillo, former director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Noosphere Ventures and Max Polyakov understand that the moves by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) are taking place against the background of a tension build-up between Ukraine and Russia. Noosphere Ventures makes every effort to meet the requirements of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States in the most efficient and appropriate way, the company concluded.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, Bloomberg wrote that U.S. government and aerospace officials have expressed concern that valuable technology could make its way to Ukraine, Russia or other countries trying to develop rocket programs.

According to two people familiar with the matter, the U.S. government has suspended Firefly rocket launch operations while the issue of Polyakov’s stake is being resolved.

Based in Cedar Park, Texas, USA, Firefly is developing a line of launch vehicles and spacecraft for commercial small and medium payload launches.

After the unsuccessful launch of the Alpha light vehicle in September this year, the company intended to perform the next attempt in December this year from the Vandenberg base but the launch was eventually postponed.


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