Franklin Continues to Sniff for Deals
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Friday, July 31, 2009

Franklin Continues to Sniff for Deals

Franklin Resources' -- whose name has cropped up as a possible Janus suitor and who has recently walked away from negotiations to buy AIG's asset management business -- continues to be on the hunt for acquisition opportunities, says its chief financial officer Kenneth Lewis.

Franklin as of June 30 was in possession of roughly $3.5 billion in cash. That cash, Lewis, said, may very well be put to use in upcoming deals.

"Our strategic and financial strengths have put us in a favorable position," Lewis said in an earnings call with analysts.

During the Q&A portion of the call, Lewis fielded an inquiry about possible acquisitions.

"We continue to look at opportunities, and the key point is that, while we look at opportunities, we do it in a very disciplined way. M&A in general, I would say, a higher risk way of growing a business than organically," Lewis replied.

"In this business particularly, it is such a people business that, you have to be very disciplined in evaluating a property, and that's what we've done, and that's what prove the results. That's what's given the great results we have for our shareholders in the past, and that's why we've been so successful in the acquisitions that we've made," he continued.

"So we'll continue it. The point is that, we continue to look at all the opportunities that are out there as we've been doing for the last couple years," he said.

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