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Consortium led by Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund IV LDC invests in Philippine affordable housing sector

10 December 2015 -­ PHILIPPINES URBAN LIVING SOLUTIONS, INC. (PULS), a leading developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing solutions in the Philippines under the MyTown brand, announced today the placement of convertible notes to a consortium including Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund IV LDC as Lead-­investor and BPI Capital Corporation (BPI Capital) as a Co-­investor.

Proceeds from the convertible notes will be used to partially finance the construction of approximately 3,000 apartment units as well as expand the PULS land bank. The parties have agreed not to disclose the financial terms of the transaction.

BPI Capital acted as Financial Advisor to PULS.

“Millions of young professionals in Metro Manila suffer from the chronic lack of quality yet affordable rental accommodation near their place of work. They typically commute for over two hours daily in unreliable public transport or live in subpar housing simply because no large scale developments currently exist to provide quality affordable rental housing to this demographic. PULS intends to improve the lives of these people by allowing young professionals to live in quality rental accommodation, at walking distance from their work,” said Mark Arellano-­Kooijman, Co-­Founder and CEO at PULS.

“We aim to build a sizeable portfolio of housing for young professionals on the back of this investment, as we believe there is a pressing need for a new lifestyle concept designed especially for the modern young professional. Moreover, the fierce employee talent war in the Philippines makes attracting and retaining staff a top priority, and providing staff housing is quickly becoming a topic among corporate employers,” said Steven Zwaan, Co-­Founder at PULS.

“What makes this investment very exciting for us is that we have found very reputable international and local private investors for a commercially and socially attractive business model, which is in our view the most structural way to solve social issues. PULS provides solid returns in a low-­risk sector, and simultaneously helps improve the lives of a demographic that is currently overlooked,” said Jelmer Ikink, Director at PULS.

Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, commented: “Metro Manila has a large and growing affordable housing gap. Our investment in PULS along with BPI Capital is intended to help increase the availability of affordable rental housing for a population that is currently under serviced and under targeted.”

“This transaction is the Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Team’s first private equity investment in the Philippines and we are delighted to partner with such a talented team and hope to help PULS become a staff housing partner of choice for corporate employers in the Philippines,” commented Richard Piliero, Head of Private Equity, Southeast Asia at Templeton Asset Management Ltd.

“PULS provides a creative and scalable solution to dealing with the intensive traffic and lack of affordable housing problem for young professionals. BPI Cap supports bold ideas to solving everyday problems,” commented Reginaldo Cariaso, Managing Director at BPI Capital.

About PULS

PULS, established in 2012, is a leading owner, developer and manager of purpose-­built staff housing. PULS specializes in the development of rental housing communities under the MyTown brand at walking distance from the central business districts in Metro Manila. The company develops communities in which young professionals can live, play and walk to work, hence increasing the quality of life by saving on both transportation time and cost for this important and rapidly growing demographic group. It is PULS’s long term goal to create commercially attractive business strategies and attract private capital to solve economic issues and improve living conditions in the Philippines.

About Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund IV LDC (TSEMF IV)

TSEMF IV is a private equity fund managed by the Templeton Emerging Markets Group of Templeton Asset Management Ltd. (TAML), with strategic investments in emerging market companies all over the world. The Templeton Emerging Markets Group, headed by Dr. Mark Mobius, has made investments in companies located in China, India, Brazil, Russia, Vietnam and other emerging market countries. TAML is a subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc.

About Franklin Templeton Investments

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 to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 150 countries. Through specialized teams, the company has expertise across all major asset classes -­-­ including equity, fixed income, alternative, and custom solutions. The company’s more than 600 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in 35 countries, the California-­based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $801 billion in assets under management. All information above is stated as of October 31, 2015. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com.

About BPI Capital

BPI Capital is the most trusted transaction advisor, credit sponsor, and financing originator to the most respected businesses and corporations in the country. With a renewed optimism for the Philippines as an investment destination, BPI Capital is the leading partner in accessing opportunities in the Philippines for the development of an Asian private equity portfolio.