(Darby) September 1, 2010 – Darby Overseas Investments, Ltd. (“Darby”), the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, announced that its Darby Technology Ventures Fund (“DTV”) sold Ativi, a Brazilian prepaid payments processor, to Euronet Worldwide (NASDAQ: EEFT), a leading payments processor headquartered in Leawood, Kansas. Ativi, based in Sao Paulo, distributes electronic prepaid products through a network of over 14,000 retail locations throughout Brazil.
Darby led a buy-out of Ativi in 2005, together with Intel Capital and Santiago-based MiFactory, with the objective of establishing the company as the leading electronic distributor of prepaid products in Brazil under new senior management. The company successfully refocused on its core business of electronic distribution of prepaid cellular airtime. Since Darby’s investment, Ativi’s sales grew by 6500%, its retail distribution network grew 1200%, and it has been consistently profitable since 2006. Ativi recorded net revenues of approximately $44 million over the past 12 months.
Jonathan Whittle, head of Darby’s Latin American technology investments, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ativi, said: “The Company prospered as a result of the strong growth in Brazil’s cellular market and from the transition from physical distribution of prepaid airtime to electronic distribution. The management team did a great job establishing Ativi as a clear market leader, with the highest retailer productivity and profitability in the industry. Ativi is an ideal platform for Euronet’s entry into the Brazilian market, and we look forward to seeing the company continue to prosper under new ownership.”
Darby Technology Ventures is a venture capital fund focused on Latin American early stage technology companies. DTV has backed a number of successful companies in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Central America, helping them to establish strong market leadership in key Latin American countries and develop significant operations internationally. Other DTV investments in Brazil include a leading provider of digital identity solutions and a prominent global provider of mobile enterprise software solutions.
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 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, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 60 years of investment experience and over US$602 billion under management as of July 31, 2010. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com.