The firm wants to expand into private equity as its actively-managed funds business struggles. : Franklin Resources Inc. will buy Lexington Partners for $1.75 billion to expand into private equity as its mutual fund business struggles. The shares surged. The deal will complement Franklin’s offerings in real estate, private credit and hedge fund strategies, Franklin said in a statement Monday. After the transaction is closed, Franklin Templeton’s alternative assets under management will be about $200 billion. The deal is the second in two weeks for the industry.