Piper Jaffray Says It Will Stay Independent After Buyout

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Piper Jaffray Cos., the investment bank and asset manager founded in 1895, said it’s staying independent after Mergermarket reported takeover talks with a Chinese securities firm.

Piper Jaffray is looking at corporate-development ideas and opportunities in Asia, such as a joint venture, as it seeks to improve performance of its Hong Kong-based subsidiary, the Minneapolis-based firm said today in a statement.

“As it considers these Asia alternatives, however, Piper Jaffray intends to remain an independent public company,” the firm said.

Piper Jaffray advanced 2.6 percent to $25.22 at 2:58 p.m. in New York after rising as much as 9.8 percent earlier in the session for its biggest gain since Oct. 27. That followed Mergermarket’s report that the securities firm was in exclusive discussions with the Chinese company, which it didn’t identify, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Last year, Piper Jaffray reported a net loss of $102 million, or $6.51 a share, as revenue dropped 14 percent to $458 million. The firm, run by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew S. Duff, 54, cited lower investment banking and institutional brokerage revenue.

The stock dropped 39 percent in 12 months through yesterday’s close, leaving the firm with a market value of about $490 million and trading for about 83 percent of tangible book value. Piper Jaffray employed 1,011 people at year-end.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Marcinek in New York at lmarcinek3@bloomberg.net; Patrick Clark in New York at pclark48@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net