Darby International Raises Rs 6.3 Billion With PE Combination

Darby Overseas Investments, a private equity firm owned by Franklin Templeton Investments, has raised Rs 6.3 Billion ($147 Million) for a private equity fund that invests in Indian retail companies.

Mumbai, India and Washington, DC, October 27, 2008 – Darby Overseas Investments, Ltd. (“Darby”), the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, announced that its Indian private equity affiliate, Darby Asia Investors (India) Pvt Ltd, has worked with Franklin Templeton (India) to raise Rupees 6.3 billion (Approx US$ 147 million[1]) in commitments for FTPES, a private equity portfolio oriented towards high net worth individuals (HNIs) in the Indian retail market.

FTPES (Franklin Templeton Private Equity Strategy) is a closed-end, rupee-denominated private equity portfolio that seeks to provide attractive returns by selectively investing in high growth, mid-sized unlisted companies in India. FTPES is managed by Franklin Templeton (India) while Darby Asia Investors (India) Pvt Ltd. is the investment advisor to FTPES.

David Hudson, Darby’s Senior Managing Director responsible for Asia, commented: “We are very pleased with the response to this initiative which combines Darby’s private equity expertise in emerging markets with Franklin Templeton’s distribution strengths and client base in the Indian retail market. FTPES aims to capitalize on the growth in India’s economy by investing in areas such as infrastructure, manufacturing, and consumer goods, and in related sectors.”

Talking about the successful launch, Vivek Kudva, President – Franklin Templeton (India) said, “Indian HNIs who were earlier focused on equity markets/funds have become more open to explore alternative assets classes such as private equity. Despite the expected moderation, the Indian economy will continue to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the rising demand for private capital will help this product to capture the growth potential in an effective way”

The Darby team responsible for FTPES, led by Deepa Sankaran, is well advanced in considering investments for the new Fund and sees attractive private equity opportunities in the current market conditions.

Darby’s CEO Richard Frank commented that FTPES furthers its strategy complementing its international fund raising with tapping local investors in emerging markets. Recently the firm closed its Brazil Mezzanine Infrastructure Fund (BMIF) with total capital commitments of R$387.5 million (US$236 million1), raised from leading domestic institutional investors. In 2006 the firm closed its KW580 billion (US$610 million1) Korea Emerging Infrastructure Fund (KEIF), managed jointly with Hana Bank, that drew a strong response from local institutions

Darby Overseas Investments was founded in 1994 by The Honorable Nicholas F. Brady, who served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury between 1988 and 1993. In 2003 Darby became a fully owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments.  Franklin Templeton Institutional, part of Franklin Templeton Investments, provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by the Franklin Global Advisers, Templeton, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, Franklin Templeton Real Estate Advisors, Darby, and Mutual Series investment management teams. The San Mateo, California-based company has 60 years of investment experience and approximately US$ 507 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2008.