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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Franklin Does a Deal Down Under

Reported by Hung Tran

Franklin Templeton Investments Australia Limited [see profile] has agreed to buy Balanced Equity Management Pty. Limited, in a cash and stock deal for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to be completed in early July.

Melbourne-based Balanced Equity is a large cap equity shop with portfolios dating back to 1988.

In a statement, Franklin Resources CEO Greg Johnson said that the company "is an excellent strategic fit" for Franklin, which is trying to tap into markets such as Australia via "local asset management expertise."
Company Press Release

Franklin Templeton Investments Announces Agreement to Acquire Balanced Equity Management

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-- (June 20, 2011) -

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN), a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments, today announced that Franklin Templeton Investments Australia Limited has agreed, subject to normal closing conditions, to acquire Balanced Equity Management Pty. Limited, in a cash and stock transaction. The purchase price has not been disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be completed in early July.

Greg Johnson, CEO of Franklin Resources, Inc. said, "We are pleased to announce the planned acquisition of Balanced Equity Management, an established Australian equity manager with over 20 years of experience managing Australian equity strategies on behalf of large Australian superannuation and other institutional clients. This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for us as we work to build the best investment capabilities in markets such as Australia, where local asset management expertise is important to meeting local investors' needs."

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Balanced Equity Management is a specialist Australian equity manager with a strong long-term track record of managing large cap Australian equity portfolios dating back to 1988. The firm's experienced team of nine investment professionals, with an average tenure of nearly 10 years, is highly regarded within Australia's asset management industry. The firm employs a fundamental value approach and internal bottom-up analysis with a focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations as well as after-tax benefits for clients.

Commenting on the acquisition, Andrew Sisson, Managing Director of Balanced Equity Management said, "We are delighted with the company's planned acquisition by Franklin Templeton, and we look forward to being part of a world-class, global investment management group. We believe our specialized investment strength in Australian equities complements Franklin Templeton's existing business very well. Most importantly, this transaction ensures long-term continuity for our clients in terms of investment team and process."

"Balanced Equity Management brings tremendous expertise and a proven track record in managing Australian equities. This acquisition is an exciting and important development for our Australian business, underscoring Franklin Templeton's commitment to growing our local presence," said Maria Wilton, Australia Country Head and Managing Director, Franklin Templeton Investments Australia Limited.

Andrew Sisson established Balanced Equity Management in 1988, initially focused on investing solely in Australia's 50 largest companies on behalf of wholesale clients. In 2003, the firm expanded its investment universe at the request of clients to include Australia's 100 largest companies and has grown into one of the country's largest and most successful wholesale Australian equities fund managers with over 20 years of investment experience, managing approximately AUD 10.3 billion (USD 11.0 billion(1)) as of May 31, 2011. Balanced Equity Management currently expects to report operating revenue of approximately AUD 13 million (USD 13 million(2)) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.

Franklin Templeton Investments Australia Limited is a subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN), a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 60 years of investment experience and over USD 735 billion in assets under management as of May 31, 2011. For more information, please visit franklinresources.com.

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