Baltimore-based Legg Mason being acquired by Franklin Templeton for $4.5 billion

Currently based in Baltimore, Legg Mason will move its operations to the California headquarters of Franklin Templeton. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)

Baltimore-based Legg Mason will be acquired by fellow mutual fund company Franklin Resources, known to investors as Franklin Templeton, for $4.5 billion, creating a giant in the actively-managed mutual fund industry with a combined $1.5 trillion in assets under management.

It will also mean Baltimore loses another major corporate headquarters.

The combined company will operate as Franklin Templeton and retain Franklin Resources’ home base of San Mateo, California, as its headquarters.

Legg Mason’s various investment affiliates, including Western Asset and ClearBridge Investments, will retain organizational autonomy.

“This incredibly strong fit between our two organizations gives me the utmost confidence that this transaction will create meaningful long-term benefits for our clients and provide our shareholders with a compelling valuation for their investment,” said Legg Mason CEO Joseph Sullivan.

Franklin Resources CEO Jenny Johnson will continue to serve as president and CEO. There will be no changes to the senior management teams at Legg Mason’s investment affiliates.

Franklin Resources is paying $50 per share for Legg Mason in the all-cash acquisition, a 23% premium over Legg Mason’s closing stock price on Feb. 14, sending its shares higher in Tuesday trading. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Legg Mason traces its roots to George Mackubin & Co. which dates back to 1899 and the Baltimore Stock Exchange.

The company has about 3,200 employees.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up