piperjaffray.jpgIt is not just the bulge-bracket investment banks that are piling into China. Piper Jaffray, the US mid-market investment bank, has agreed to acquire Goldbond Capital Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong-based investment bank, for approximately $50m, mostly in cash. The move aims to help China's mid-sized companies raise capital in HK.

Piper Jaffray is putting a lot of emphasis on China and it already has an office Shanghai — its only other international office is in London. In March, it held its annual China growth conference, now in its fourth year, which looked at a broad range of growth sectors including the internet, technology, education, consumer and solar power, which are  pretty much the areas that EngagingChina covers —  great minds think alike.

The deal with Goldbond is interesting as it suggests that Piper Jaffray does not feel the mainland's financial markets are sufficiently well developed to appeal to mid-market companies in China. Andrew Duff, chairman and CEO of Piper Jaffray, said:

Hong Kong is a major centre of institutional capital raising and securities trading internationally. In order to serve as the primary financial advisor to middle market companies in Greater China, we need to provide access to capital in Hong Kong as well as in the US and Europe. Likewise, we want to offer top-quality growth investment opportunities to our Asian-based buy side clients.”

Founded in 2003 by chairman and CEO Alex Ko, Goldbond focuses primarily on raising capital for and providing financial advisory services to HKEX-listed companies. It offers corporate finance, sales and trading, equity capital markets and research capabilities, and employs 70 people in HK, Beijing and Shanghai.

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