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Sao Paulo and Washington, D.C., February 15, 2007 - Darby Overseas Investments, Ltd. (Darby), the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments and a leading provider of private equity and mezzanine capital in emerging markets, announced that Fernando Gentil will join the firm on March 1, 2007 as Managing Director for its investment operations in Brazil.
A Brazilian national, Mr. Gentil previously held senior management positions in leading global financial institutions operating in Latin America, and Brazil in particular. He ran Swiss Re's non-life reinsurance and structured finance operations in Latin America, and prior to joining Swiss Re he was the managing director responsible for ING Barings' investment banking and corporate finance activities in the Americas.
Darby is expanding its activities in Brazil, having invested more than US$175 million over the past ten years in 12 Brazilian or Brazil-related companies operating in a wide variety of sectors, including market leaders ALESAT, Spring Wireless, Santos Brasil, and PetroRecôncavo. Over the next five years the firm plans to substantially increase the amount of capital invested in the country by providing a further US$500 million to a broad number of medium-sized Brazilian companies.
Richard Frank, Darby's chief executive officer, commented: "Fernando is ideally suited to lead our Brazil team forward, thanks to his excellence in team-building, his knowledge of the local market, and his access to the most relevant participants in this key market. He will help manage our existing funds targeting Brazil, and the development of new investment funds."
Mr. Gentil added: "I have watched the growth of Darby's presence in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to help promote the firm's continued expansion in this market. I believe Darby is well positioned to further consolidate its leadership position as a provider of private equity and mezzanine investments to Brazilian middle-market companies."
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 Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, and Darby investment teams. The San Mateo, California-based company has 60 years of investment experience and US$561 billion in assets under management as of January 31, 2007.
Darby's existing funds invested in Brazil are comprised of the Darby Emerging Markets Fund ("DEMF"), the Darby Latin American Mezzanine Fund ("DLAMF"), and the Darby-BBVA Latin American Private Equity Fund ("DBVA"). The firm's most recent investment was a $25.2 million equity financing by DBVA for Brazilian low-cost carrier, BRA Transporteos Aereos.