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    Heather Hickson
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    Darby Invests in Leading Colombian IT Distributor and Service Company

    Bogota, Colombia and Washington, DC, September 27, 2011 - Darby Overseas Investments, Ltd. ("Darby"), the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, announced that Darby Latin American Mezzanine Fund II ("DLAMF II") completed an investment in Datapoint de Colombia SAS ("Datapoint"), a leading information technology (IT) hardware distributor and service provider in the country. Transaction details were not disclosed.

    Datapoint was founded in 1977 in Manizales, Colombia and is today a leader in the IT sector with more than 250 employees, offices in Bogota and Medellin, and a national footprint. Datapoint distributes products from leading software and hardware manufacturers in the industry (e.g. Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, Microsoft and Lexmark) and provides services and support to its customer base.

    Richard Frank Jr., Darby's Principal responsible for DLAMF II, commented, "We are very pleased to have concluded this investment in Datapoint as it reinforces Darby's longstanding commitment to investing in the region and specifically in Colombia. We are attracted to Datapoint because of its strong industry leadership, successful track record of providing high quality service and the favorable outlook for the sector."

    Jorge Eduardo Gomez Botero, Datapoint's Chairman and CEO, commented "Darby's investment will improve Datapoint's competitive advantage, particularly at a time when sourcing new capital is extremely difficult. The mezzanine financing we received will be used to develop existing and new services oriented to new technologies like cloud computing and to strengthen the core activities of Datapoint."

    The investment in Datapoint adds to Darby's long history of successful investments in Latin America and follows the success of the Darby Latin American Mezzanine Fund I with 12 investments, all of which have been realized. Darby has played a pioneering role in bringing mezzanine—a hybrid of both debt and equity—to emerging market regions, initially Latin America, then to Asia and most recently to Central and Southeastern Europe. Currently, DLAMF II is the only dedicated mezzanine provider on a regional basis in Latin America.

    Darby Overseas Investments, Ltd. 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 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. Darby manages 14 private equity and mezzanine funds in Latin America, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe with 12 offices located in those three regions. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 60 years of investment experience and over $716 billion in assets under management as of August 31, 2011. For more information, please call 1-800/DIAL BEN® or visit franklintempleton.com.