Quercus Denies Holding Talks to Sell Stake to Franklin Templeton

Quercus TFI SA, Poland’s biggest publicly traded asset manager, denied a report it is holding talks to sell a stake to Franklin Templeton Investment.

Franklin Templeton, which plans expansion in the European Union’s biggest eastern economy, is negotiating a purchase price for the Warsaw-based fund, Puls Biznesu reported today, without saying where it got the information. Quercus, which started operations in 2008, managed 4 billion zloty ($1.27 billion) of assets last month, according to its regulatory filing.

Neither the Polish fund nor its co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Buczek, who holds a 25 percent stake, are in talks to sell the company to Franklin Templeton, Quercus said in a regulatory statement today. Buczek wasn’t available for further comments when contacted by phone today. Pawel Satalecki, a spokesman for Franklin Templeton in Poland, declined to comment.

Mutual funds have been among the fastest growing financial companies in Poland over the past year as record low interest rates prompted Poles to move savings from traditional bank deposits to higher-yielding securities. The funds’ assets surged 30 percent in the first nine months of the year, to 172.9 billion zloty, according to data from Analizy Online SA, a Warsaw-based fund tracking company.

Quercus shares climbed 3.3 percent to 8.26 zloty at 12:57 p.m. in Warsaw, paring part of its 6.1 percent gains today and valuing the company at 587 million zloty. The stock has been the fifth best-performing in Warsaw’s all-share WIG Index this year, surging 236 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Piotr Bujnicki in Warsaw at pbujnicki@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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