Franklin Templeton Acquires Legg Mason for $4.5 Billion, Creating $1.5 Trillion Global Investment Manager

February 18, 2020

Willkie advised Franklin Templeton on the acquisition, establishing the company as one of the world’s largest independent, specialized global investment managers.

On February 18, Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Legg Mason, Inc. [NYSE:LM], for $50.00 per share of common stock in an all-cash $4.5 billion transaction, establishing Franklin Templeton as one of the world’s largest independent, specialized global investment managers with a combined $1.5 trillion in assets under management (AUM). Franklin Templeton will also assume approximately $2 billion of Legg Mason’s outstanding debt. Global headquarters will remain in San Mateo, CA and the combined firm will operate as Franklin Templeton.

The combined footprint significantly deepens Franklin Templeton’s presence in key geographies, and creates an expansive investment platform balanced between institutional and retail client AUM, with a strong separately managed account business.

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization operating, together with its subsidiaries, as Franklin Templeton. Franklin Templeton provides global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 170 countries, with expertise across all asset classes, including equity, fixed income, alternatives and custom multi-asset solutions. With more than 600 investment professionals, the California-based company has more than 70 years of investment experience and approximately $688 billion in assets under management as of January 31, 2020.

Legg Mason, which collectively manages over $806 billion in assets as of January 31, 2020, offers investors choice across investment strategies, vehicles and investor access through independent investment managers with diverse expertise in equity, fixed income, alternative and liquidity investments. Legg Mason’s investment affiliates operate with investment independence and have specialized expertise across asset classes and markets around the globe. The firm’s affiliates include: Brandywine Global, Clarion Partners, ClearBridge Investments, Martin Currie, QS Investors, Royce Investment Partners, and Western Asset.

The Willkie team was led by partner Dave Boston and included partners Laura Acker, Jordan Messinger, Christopher Peters and Justin Browder.