Franklin Templeton to buy Legg Mason in USD6.5bn deal

Franklin Templeton, Jenny Johnson

Franklin Templeton is to become one of the world’s largest independent asset managers, with USD1.5 trillion in assets under management, with its purchase of Legg Mason for USD6.5 billion, including assuming USD2 billion of existing debt.

The firm writes that the combined footprint of the organisation will significantly deepen Franklin Templeton’s presence in key geographies and create an expansive investment platform that is well balanced between institutional and retail client AUM. 

“This is a landmark acquisition for our organisation that unlocks substantial value and growth opportunities driven by greater scale, diversity and balance across investment strategies, distribution channels and geographies,” says Greg Johnson, executive chairman of the Board of Franklin Resources, Inc. “Our complementary strengths will enhance our strategic positioning and long-term growth potential, while also delivering on our goal of creating a more balanced and diversified organisation that is competitively positioned to serve more clients in more places.”

Jenny Johnson (pictured), president and CEO of Franklin Templeton, says: “This acquisition will add differentiated capabilities to our existing investment strategies with modest overlap across multiple world-class affiliates, investment teams and distribution channels, bringing notable added leadership and strength in core fixed income, active equities and alternatives. We will also expand our multi-asset solutions, a key growth area for the firm amid increasing client demand for comprehensive, outcome-oriented investment solutions."

Joseph A Sullivan, chairman and CEO of Legg Mason, says: “The incredibly strong fit between our two organisations gives me the utmost confidence that this transaction will create meaningful long-term benefits for our clients and provide our shareholders with a compelling valuation for their investment. By preserving the autonomy of each investment organisation, the combination of Legg Mason and Franklin Templeton will quickly leverage our collective strengths, while minimising the risk of disruption. Our clients will benefit from a shared vision, strong client-focused cultures, distinct investment capabilities and a broad distribution footprint in this powerful combination.”

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