Franklin Resources’ $6.5 Billion Acquisition of Legg Mason

Broadhaven Capital Partners, LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co LLC served as financial advisors to Franklin Resources, Inc. Ardea Partners LP also provided advice. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as external legal counsel. PJT Partners served as the lead financial advisor to Legg Mason. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC also served as financial advisor to Legg Mason. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as lead counsel to Legg Mason and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as special counsel to Legg Mason. Dechert LLP served as legal counsel to EnTrust Global.

EnTrust Global has entered into a definitive agreement with Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN) to reacquire the 65% interest that Legg Mason, Inc. (NYSE: LM) holds in EnTrust Global, for $50.00 per share of common stock in an all-cash transaction.

The acquisition of Legg Mason and its multiple investment affiliates, which collectively manage over $806 billion in assets as of January 31, 2020, will establish 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) across one of the broadest ranges of high-quality investment teams in the industry.

The all-cash consideration of $4.5 billion will be funded from the Company’s existing balance sheet cash. Franklin Templeton will also assume approximately $2 billion in Legg Mason’s outstanding debt. Upon closing of the transaction, Franklin Templeton expects to maintain a robust balance sheet and considerable financial flexibility with pro forma gross debt of approximately $2.7 billion with remaining cash and investments of approximately $5.3 billion.

Headquartered in New York and London, EnTrust Global is a leading alternative asset management firm with $21.2 billion in total assets* as of December 31, 2019.

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN) is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton. The California-based company has more than 70 years of investment experience and over $698 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2019.

Guided by a mission of Investing to Improve Lives,™ Legg Mason helps investors globally achieve better financial outcomes by expanding 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’sassets under management are $806 billion as of January 31, 2020.

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

The Skadden team included Litigation partners Robert Saunders (Wilmington) and James Carroll (Boston), and counsel Ronald Brown (Wilmington); and M&A partner Graham Robinson (Boston).

The Dechert team included Corporate Partner Charles Weissman (New York), Partner Timothy Clark (New York), Associate John Alessi (Boston), Associate Juan Bautista Zambon (New York), Tax Partner Steven Clemens (New York).

The Weil team advising Legg Mason is led by Co-Head of Weil’s Transactions Practice Frederick Green and Mergers & Acquisitions partner Sachin Kohli and includes Mergers & Acquisitions counsel Christina De Vuono and Mergers & Acquisitions associates Nour Bargach, Daniel Sotsky and Jason Klig (Not Yet Admitted in New York). The team also includes Executive Compensation & Benefits Head Paul Wessel; Regulatory partner David Wohl; Capital Markets partner Faiza Rahman; Co-Chair of Tax Joe Pari; Technology & IP Transactions partner Jeffrey Osterman; Antitrust Head Steven Newborn and Antitrust partners Steven Bernstein and Jeff White; Executive Compensation & Benefits counsel Steven Margolis; Antitrust counsel Vadim Brusser; Executive Compensation & Benefits associates Akansha Mishra and Emily Gulyako (Not Yet Admitted in New York); Capital Markets associate Anthony Zangrillo; Tax associates Blake Bitter and Jacob Meninga; Technology & IP Transactions associate Rami Sherman; and Antitrust associate Tyler Phelps (Not Yet Admitted in Washington, D.C.).

Involved fees earner: John Alessi – Dechert; Timothy Clark – Dechert; Steven Clemens – Dechert; Charles Weissman – Dechert; Juan Bautista Zambon – Dechert; Ronald Brown – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; James Carroll – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Graham Robinson – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Robert Saunders – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Nour Bargach – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Steven Bernstein – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Blake Bitter – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Vadim Brusser – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Christina De Vuono – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Frederick Green – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Sachin Kohli – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Steven Margolis – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Jacob Meninga – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Akansha Mishra – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Steven Newborn – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Jeffrey Osterman – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Joe Pari – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Faiza Rahman – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Rami Sherman – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Daniel Sotsky – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Paul Wessel – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Jeff White – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; David Wohl – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Anthony Zangrillo – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Laura Acker – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; David Boston – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Justin Browder – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Jordan Messinger – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Christopher Peters – Willkie Farr & Gallagher;

Law Firms: Dechert; Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Willkie Farr & Gallagher;

Clients: EnTrust Global; Franklin Templeton Investments; Legg Mason – Special Committee of the Board of Directors; Legg Mason, Inc.;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti