The Wall Street Journal: Asset manager Franklin Resources eyeing acquisition of Legg Mason

Franklin Resources Inc. is in talks to buy rival asset manager Legg Mason Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that could help two big players in an industry that is under pressure from shifting investor tastes.

Assuming it comes together, a deal for Legg Mason

LM, -0.10%

 could be announced as soon as Tuesday, the people said. While the exact price and other terms couldn’t be learned, it would be sizable given Legg Mason’s market value of more than $3.5 billion and assets under management of $800 billion.

Legg Mason owns a portfolio of nine investment managers that operate under their own brands, including bond specialist Western Asset Management and stock picker ClearBridge Investments.

California-based Franklin Resources

BEN, +0.62%

 , with a market value of $12.1 billion, manages nearly $700 billion, including both stock and bond investments. The company operates under the Franklin Templeton brand.

An expanded version of this report can be found at WSJ.com

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