Will the $800-plus billion stimulus package being debated in the Senate push Franklin Templeton
to buy Janus
? That's what Credit Suisse
analyst Craig Siegenthaler
speculates in a report Tuesday that was picked up
Sam Mamudi. Siegenthaler points to the possible inclusion in the package of a "temporary decline in the repatriation tax on foreign earnings," and sees AllianceBernstein
, Legg Mason
and above all Franklin Templeton as big winners under such a provision, thanks to their big international businesses.
Siegenthaler estimates that, thanks to such a provision, Franklin Templeton could then could have up to $2.3 billion in cash on hand in the US, making an acquisition (or share repurchase) appetizing.
"Specifically, we believe the company may look to upgrade its growth equities segment with the purchase of Janus Capital Group, which has a market capitalization of $800 million (down 80 percent over the last year)," Siegenthaler writes.
Even if the provision gets included, though, Siegenthaler is far from certain.
This is not the first time Franklin and Janus have been linked by sale talk in the media. Last fall the Wall Street Journal
reported that Janus execs considered a sale to Franklin in 2007 and might do so again if the conditions were right (see MFWire, 11/25/2008
Siegenthaler also anticipates only one asset manager, Legg Mason, taking advantage of a proposed extension of the net operating loss "carry-back" period included in the package.
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