Franklin Templeton Investments’ Acquisition of Benefit Street Partners

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor to Franklin Templeton, and its legal counsel was Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. BofA Merrill Lynch served as BSP’s financial advisor on the transaction, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP was its legal advisor.

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments, has entered into an agreement to acquire Benefit Street Partners L.L.C., a leading alternative credit manager with approximately $26 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2018. The acquisition will bolster Franklin Templeton’s alternative offerings and expand its robust fixed income capabilities to include an array of alternative credit strategies, at a time when investors are increasingly allocating capital to less liquid and higher yielding credit opportunities.

Established in 2008, BSP is based in New York, with five additional offices across the US. BSP offers a broad spectrum of investment capabilities to its investors, covering corporate performing and distressed private credit, structured credit and commercial real estate credit. The alternative credit asset class is seeing strong demand in a rising rate environment, with BSP generally focusing on high quality, primarily senior secured, floating rate debt. BSP’s senior management team has worked together for over two decades, at BSP and at another organization, and is supported by a deep bench of strategy leaders, portfolio managers and investment professionals with significant experience building institutional-quality businesses that have delivered strong results through multiple market cycles.

This transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and we anticipate the transaction will close in Franklin Templeton’s second quarter of fiscal 2019. Following the acquisition, Franklin Templeton’s alternative offerings will represent more than $40 billion in assets under management.

Willkie advised with a team including partner David Boston (Picture), partners Jordan Messinger, Christopher Peters and James Silk; and associate Laura Acker.

Involved fees earner: David Boston – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Laura Acker – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Jordan Messinger – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Christopher Peters – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; James Silk – Willkie Farr & Gallagher;

Law Firms: Willkie Farr & Gallagher;

Clients: Franklin Templeton Investments;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti