In the News: Meet The Unknown Immigrant Billionaire Betting Her Fortune To Take On Musk In Space
FORBES.com, July 12, 2018 – "We're doing it because we have the drive and innovation, and we see an opportunity--and need--for the U.S. to continue its leadership role in this important frontier," says Eren Ozmen.
Until now, few had heard of the Ozmens or Sierra Nevada. Often confused with the California beer company with the same name, the firm even printed coasters that say #notthebeercompany. The Ozmens are Turkish immigrants who came to America for graduate school in the early 1980s and acquired Sierra Nevada, the small defense company where they both worked, for less than $5 million in 1994, using their house as collateral. Eren got a 51% stake and Fatih 49%. Starting in 1998, they went on an acquisition binge financed with the cash flow from their military contracts, buying up 19 aerospace and defense firms. Today Sierra Nevada is the biggest female-owned government contractor in the country, with $1.6 billion in 2017 sales and nearly 4,000 employees across 33 locations. Eighty percent of its revenue comes from the U.S. government (mostly the Air Force), to which it sells its military planes, drones, anti-IED devices and navigation technology....
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Photo credit Forbes.