New Zealand aviation company Martin Aircraft, raising capital to market and sell the world’s first commercial jetpack, has forged a deal worth up to $50 million with Hong-Kong listed KuangChi Science.
The two and a half year agreement will likely see Martin Aircraft debut on the ASX next month, with inventor and founder Glen Martin projecting the first sales of his signature Martin Jetpack for a third quarter 2016 release, the SMH reported.
The jetpacks, which can fly up to two passengers at one time, will be marketed towards emergency services, to be used as a first responder vehicle. There’s also a smaller market opportunity for leisure customers, with the jetpacks retail price estimated to be around $200,000.
Investment company KuangChi Science focuses on research and development for space materials and recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airways New Zealand.
As part of the agreement, KuangChi will receive $21 million worth of shares in Martin Aircraft in the initial public offering (IPO) and will assist the Kiwi business with its debt funding, subscribing for between $23 million and $29 million worth of convertible notes.
The two companies will also form a new Chinese joint venture, with KuangChi Science holding a 51 per cent controlling stake.
Martin Aircraft chief executive Peter Corker welcomed the business partnership and cash injection.
“The KuangChi Science investment agreement not only brings significant capital to drive forward the commercialisation of the Martin Jetpack, it also introduces a whole new R&D world of meta-material technology and advanced simulation testing that enables product development that in our opinion is well beyond the capabilities of even some of the world’s best aircraft manufacturers,” Corker said.