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Piper Jaffray To Buy Simmons & Company For $139 Million

Houston-based Simmons will become the energy practice of the Minneapolis-based investment bank.

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The wave of consolidation in the energy sector is carrying over into the financial industry. Simmons & Company International, an energy investment bank based in Houston, is being purchased by Piper Jaffray Companies. Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray will acquire full control of Simmons, in exchange for $139 million in cash and stock. Simmons will continue to operate out of its Houston headquarters and its U.K. subsidiary in Aberdeen.

Simmons & Company International is located on the 19th floor of the Bank of America Center in downtown Houston.

"We're going to be able to expand our equity capital markets business, raising and placing equity for publicly traded companies in the energy space," says Fred Charlton, a managing director of Simmons, who will serve as chairman of energy investment banking for the new firm.

Charlton says the merger will help clients facing steep debts or possible bankruptcy as a result of low oil prices.

"Piper also has a very strong restructuring group," he says, "and some of our clients may well find that that's the right way to be thinking about things as we go through the downturn."

Pending regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.