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Piper Jaffray forms middle-market lending subsidiary

Piper Jaffray Cos. has formed a lending subsidiary, Piper Jaffray Finance LLC, with $1.0 billion in equity commitments from investors to underwrite middle-market loans for sponsored and non-sponsored companies.

Piper Jaffray Finance LLC will make loans to companies in the Piper Jaffray investment banking coverage universe, including the healthcare, energy, consumer, industrials, technology, financial services, agriculture, clean technology and renewables sectors. Loans will be between $75 million and $250 million for companies with EBITDA of $15 million or higher. The subsidiary's focus will be first-lien and stretch unitranche, but it will have the ability to underwrite second-lien and mezzanine loans for sponsored and non-sponsored transactions.

Len Sheer, head of the Piper Jaffray & Co. capital advisory group, will be president of the finance unit. Joining him on the executive team will be Amrit Agrawal, James Chiarelli and Bob Lauria.