ARX Equity Partners and Darby Private Equity acquire Gramex Kft

ARX Equity Partners and Darby Private Equity together with experienced food industry executive Gerard Lenihan have completed the buyout of Gramex 2000 Kft. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

ARX CEE III LP (“ARX III”), managed by ARX Equity Partners (“ARX”) and Darby Converging Europe Fund III (SCS) SICAR (“DCEF III”), managed by Darby Private Equity (“Darby”), the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, together with experienced food industry executive Gerard Lenihan, have completed the buyout of Gramex 2000 Kft. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Gramex (www.gramex2000.hu) is a leading Hungarian manufacturer and bottler of nonalcoholic beverages, providing high quality products under its own brands, as well as in partnership with strong local and international retailers and A-brand producers. ARX, Darby and Lenihan intend to grow Gramex in the coming years organically, via regional expansion. Among other previous executive roles, Lenihan was also the CEO in a private equity-backed management buyout in Hungary in 1996. “Gramex has grown sales dynamically over the past three years, exceeding the overall market trend, and we believe that Gramex can further leverage its reputation and service capabilities to grow in Hungary as well as internationally”, said Lenihan.

About ARX:

ARX is an independent private equity investor that supports the growth of mid-sized companies in Central and Eastern Europe. The firm operates from offices in Bucharest, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw and its investor base is comprised of major institutional investors. The ARX family of funds is organized to make equity investments in the region, with a focus on later stage investments such as management buy-outs and buy-ins and industry consolidation transactions. For more information, please visit www.arxequity.com.
Since 1997, ARX has completed more than 30 transactions in six Central and Eastern European countries. ARX III has previously made six investments in Poland and the Czech Republic.

About Darby:

Darby was founded in 1994 by The Honorable Nicholas F. Brady, who served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury between 1988 and 1993. Richard Frank joined the firm as CEO in 1997 after his career at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)/World Bank. In 2003, Darby became a fully owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. For more information please visit www.darbyoverseas.com.

DCEF III has previously made two investments in Turkey. Including DCEF III, Darby manages two Central and South East Europe dedicated funds, which have collectively made 18 investments in the region.

Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Bissett, Fiduciary Trust, Darby, Balanced Equity Management, K2 Advisors and Pelagos investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $879 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2013. For more information, please visit www.franklinresources.com.

Contacts:
ARX Equity Partners Darby Private Equity
Bela Lendvai Lintner Heather Jensen
+36-1-302-9270 +1-202-872-0500
lintner@arxequity.com hjensen@doil.com

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