RDIF Establishes Pre IPO Co-Investor Programme with BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and Templeton Ahead of Moscow Listings

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

A consortium of international investors consisting of BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited, Templeton Asset Management Ltd. and the European Special Situations Group of Goldman Sachs International have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to establish a co-investor programme to work together in Pre IPO transactions for market leading Russian corporates.

The investor consortium includes BlackRock (a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services worldwide), Templeton (a pioneer in emerging markets and one of the world's largest emerging and frontier markets investment teams), and Goldman Sachs (the world's leading investment bank and securities firm). Collectively, the three institutions have assets under management in excess of USD 5 trillion.

The consortium, which will be co-ordinated by RDIF, will seek to make investments in Russian companies with annual revenues in excess of USD 500m that are planning to go public on the Moscow stock exchange MICEX-RTS within the next 6-18 months. Each investment will be decided upon by the programme co investors acting separately in their own discretion.

Kirill Dmitriev, Chief Executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund commented: "We are delighted that our initiative has attracted the support of investors enjoying the scale and reputation of BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and Templeton. The programme will support Russian companies at a critical moment in their capital raising. It has the potential to significantly increase the number and quality of Russian companies that IPO in Russia which in turn will strengthen the depth and liquidity of the domestic Russian capital markets."

David Graham, Head of International Ventures at BlackRock added, "We look forward to working with the RDIF and other consortium partners on this programme and commend the RDIF initiative to tap an attractive and increasingly relevant market segment in Russia."

Dr. Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group commented, "We are pleased to be part of the RDIF programme and believe that Pre IPO transactions will benefit from a consortium approach which improves not only the volume of deals that we are shown but also the quality of those that we invest in."

Julian Salisbury Partner and Head of Goldman Sachs European Special Situations Group added: "We are pleased to support the RDIF programme, as we believe it will open up new and attractive opportunities for us to invest in pre-IPO companies in Russia."

The consortium intends to start reviewing investment proposals with effect from the date of this release.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), established in June 2011, is to be capitalized with $10 billion in Russian government funds to make equity investments that generate strong returns. In each investment it makes, RDIF is mandated to secure co-investment that as a minimum matches its commitment, thus acting as a catalyst for direct investment into the Russian economy. Kirill Dmitriev has been Chief Executive Officer of the RDIF since inception. Additional information is available at http://www.rdif.ru.

BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At March 31, 2012, BlackRock's AUM was $3.684 trillion. BlackRock offers products that span the risk spectrum to meet clients' needs, including active, enhanced and index strategies across markets and asset classes. Products are offered in a variety of structures including separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of March 31, 2012, the firm has approximately 9,900 employees in 27 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company's website at http://www.blackrock.com

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE: BEN] is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. 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 $683 billion in assets under management as of May 31, 2012. For more information, please call 1-800/DIAL BEN® or visit franklinresources.com.

SOURCE Russian Direct Investment Fund




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