Piper Jaffray reaches agreement to buy energy boutique

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Piper Jaffray Companies has announced it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Simmons & Company International.

Founded in 1974, Simmons is one of the largest and most experienced independent investment banks specializing in the energy industry, offering M&A advisory, capital markets execution and investment research. With over 170 investment banking, sales & trading, equity research and private equity professionals, the firm’s broad range of coverage spans the entire energy spectrum, including energy services & equipment, exploration & production, midstream and downstream.

The average tenure for a managing director at Simmons is in excess of 15 years, and during its 41-year history, Simmons has executed more than 830 strategic advisory transactions, over 330 private and public financings, representing total transaction value of approximately $260bn. Simmons also manages two private equity funds in the U.K. that specialize in energy. Headquartered in Houston, the firm also has a major presence Aberdeen, as well as offices in London and Dubai.

'Simmons is the preeminent firm in energy investment banking and we are proud to have the opportunity to partner with such an accomplished team. This addition represents a major step in our drive towards $500m in annual investment banking revenue', said Andrew Duff, chairman and CEO of Piper Jaffray.

'This is a milestone transaction as we meaningfully increase the firm’s investment banking footprint. Expanding into the energy sector has been a long-term goal for us and we are pleased to have found the ideal partner to fulfil this strategy', added Scott LaRue, global co-head of Piper Jaffray investment banking. 'We look forward to combining our broader product suite with Simmons’ sector expertise, unmatched reputation and extensive relationships to build on the firm’s long history of success'.

'Simmons has been a name synonymous with excellence in energy investment banking and providing quality service to clients for over 40 years. This transaction is a logical step in taking our firm to the next level as we expect our entire investment banking and equities groups to transition to Piper Jaffray in a seamless manner. Our clients will greatly benefit from the enhanced breadth of products and capabilities that Piper brings to the table', said Michael Frazier, Simmons’ chairman, president and CEO. 'On behalf of my partners, we are additionally pleased to be combining with a firm that shares similar values and our client-focused culture'.

Transaction Overview

Piper Jaffray will acquire 100% of Simmons for a total consideration of approximately $139m, consisting of $91m in cash and $48m in restricted stock. Also, Piper Jaffray has committed an additional $21m in cash and stock for retention purposes. The restricted stock included in the total consideration includes non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. Additional compensation may be available to certain individuals subject to exceeding certain revenue thresholds during the first three years that Simmons is a part of Piper Jaffray. Key Simmons professionals have entered into employment agreements with Piper Jaffray that become effective concurrent with the transaction’s close.

Piper Jaffray intends to operate the business under the Simmons brand as a Piper Jaffray company and it will continue to run its energy practice from Simmons’ Houston and Aberdeen locations. The business will be integrated into Piper Jaffray’s equities and investment banking group, with senior leaders at the firm assuming senior leadership roles with Piper Jaffray. Fred Charlton will be appointed chairman of energy investment banking and will serve as co-head of energy investment banking together with James Baker. Bill Herbert will become head of global energy research, and Will Britt will continue to lead specialized energy equity sales. Ira Greenwill become head of energy capital markets and Colin Welsh will become head of international energy investment banking and executive chairman of Piper Jaffray’s U.K. subsidiary, and continue to lead Simmons’ international activities. Michael Frazier, Simmons’ chairman, president and CEO, has entered into a consulting agreement with Piper Jaffray and will continue to serve in a senior role that leverages his relationship and experience.

Simmons generated revenue of $96m, including $65m in advisory revenue, in its most recent fiscal year ended June 30, 2015. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Piper Jaffray’s non-GAAP earnings during the first full year of operation. Piper Jaffray intends to offset dilution from shares issued in the transaction with future share repurchases under its existing share repurchase program.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.

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