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Franklin Templeton Said to Plan South African Unit Purchase

Franklin Resources of San Mateo, Calif., adviser to the Franklin Templeton Funds and Mutual Series Funds, is planning to buy at least part of the asset management unit of Nedcor Investment Bank Holdings Limited, a South African banking group based in Johannesburg, South Africa, according to a source close to the negotiations. A Franklin Templeton spokesperson declined to comment.

Nedcor Investment is the parent to NIB Asset Management Group, the investment advisory arm of the banking group. Old Mutual plc of London owns 53 percent of Nedcor. In June, Old Mutual agreed to purchase United Asset Management Corp. of Boston.

Franklin, with $230 billion under management worldwide, wants to expand its business in South Africa. Franklin already has offices in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.