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    Darby Signs Agreement to Divest its Holdings in Sirma through Sale to Danone

    Darby’s Third Exit in Turkey

    Washington, DC, May 7, 2013 - Darby Private Equity ("Darby"), the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, announced that its Darby Converging Europe Mezzanine Fund ("DCEMF") signed an agreement to exit its equity and mezzanine holdings in Sirma, one of the leading Turkish bottled water and beverage manufacturers, in connection with a strategic sale of a majority interest in Sirma to Danone. DCEMF’s exit is subject to the closing of the transaction with Danone. The transaction terms were not disclosed.

    DCEMF made a mezzanine investment in Sirma in 2010 to provide long-term funding for the growth of the company. DCEMF made a follow-on equity and mezzanine investment in 2011 to finance Sirma’s new factory.

    Robert Graffam, Darby’s Senior Managing Director for Europe, commented: "We are the first and leading mezzanine and equity fund with a dedicated presence in Turkey. This transaction reinforces our track record in supporting middle-market companies with long-term growth capital in the region."

    Nicholas Kabcenell, Darby Managing Director commented: "During our involvement Sirma has strengthened its position as a leading company in its sector through new products, new factory investments and successful branding. We look forward to seeing the company continue to prosper in the future."

    Burak Dalgin, Darby Managing Director added: "We have done six investments to date in Turkey and Sirma will be our third exit in Turkey. Two of these new investments and two of the exists, including the potential Sirma exit, happened over the past twelve months."

    The Darby Converging Europe Mezzanine Fund is focused on providing growth capital to middle-market companies in Central and Eastern Europe. Sirma will be the eighth exit for the Fund.

    Darby has been a pioneer in providing mezzanine products—a hybrid of both debt and equity—to various emerging market regions, including Latin America, Asia, and more recently Central and Eastern Europe. The firm has been managing mezzanine and equity funds in Latin America since the close of its first Latin American private equity fund in 1994.


    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 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 darbyoverseas.com.

    Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Bissett, Fiduciary Trust, Darby, Balanced Equity Management and K2 investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over US$823 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2013. For more information, please call 1-800/DIAL BEN® or visit franklinresources.com.